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To remove the limitation of traditional biological aerated filter (BAF) technology, the demonstration of a new submerged aerated filter (SAF) with 26.3 ft. (8m) maximum media height was carried out over a period of 16 months. The 10 m3/h (40 gpm) pilot unit was treating primary effluent from an existing works, and was designed to achieve nitrogen residuals below 8 mg TN/L while operated on a variable diurnal flow pattern. Treatment capacity of expanded clay media and random packed plastic media were demonstrated in separate studies, as well as nitrification capacity with high salinity (6,000 mg Cl/L). A deep bed sand filter (DBF) treated the nitrified effluent for solids removal and denitrification.

With an influent BOD between 50 and 105 mg/L and TSS about half as concentrated, the SAF was consistently achieving a high nitrification rate of up to 0.4 kg N/m3 d and produced effluent containing less than 2 mg NH3-N/L on a 95th percentile basis. The SAF/DBF system achieved an overall effluent quality of BOD5/TSS/TN <10/<10/<5 mg/L at temperatures between 20 and 32®C.

A full scale plant treating 5,280 gal/s (20 m3/s) primary effluent has been designed based on the pilot plant results, and a similar SAF/DBF system is being constructed in the UAE treating biologically pretreated effluent with similar sewage characteristics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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