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WERF: POLLUTION RETENTION BY FILTER MEDIA UNDER AEROBIC VERSUS ANAEROBIC CONDITIONS

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Downflow filtration of stormwater runoff is limited by the clogging of the filter media. In order to extend the run time of a downflow stormwater filter, pretreatment to remove the larger particles from the runoff is required. Another option for using filtration as a stormwater treatment is to run the filters in an upflow mode. Upflow filters do not clog as quickly as downflow filters. A second benefit of using upflow filtration is that more of the chemical capacity of the media may be used. The drawback to the use of upflow filtration may be the changes in the binding strength of the pollutants to the media.

This paper presents the results of experiments conducted to determine if four potential filter media (sand, activated carbon, peat moss, and compost) could retain previously-trapped pollutants even under anaerobic conditions. The results indicated that permanent retention of heavy metals likely will occur even in an anaerobic environment. However, retention of nutrients may not occur under these conditions. These results show that the maintenance of aerobic conditions in the media is crucial if nutrient removal and retention is important.

The permanent retention of the heavy metals indicates that upflow filtration may be feasible for sites where the primary stormwater pollutants are metals, such as scrap metal recyclers and junkyards. This project is part of the WERF Project 97-IRM-2, Innovative Metals Removal Techniques for Urban Stormwater.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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