Many facilities are being required to meet effluent limits noted as “limit of technology” in an attempt to reduce the nutrient discharge to our nation's waterways. While many facilities have achieved these technology limits for one of the major nutrients (phosphorus
or nitrogen), achieving these limit of technology concentrations for nitrogen and phosphorus in effluent denitrification filters has not been widely reported. The concern was whether low soluble phosphorus influent concentrations (< 0.1 mg/l) would affect denitrification performance
via inhibited growth of denitrifying microorganisms on the filter media. At the time of this study (2003) no equipment vendors could provide information concerning their effluent filters being applied as denitrification filters with wastewater containing < 0.5 mg/l TP. Demonstration
testing was conducted with two different denitrification effluent filter technologies to provide appropriate sizing criteria and operating strategies to achieve low effluent total phosphorus, total nitrogen and total suspended solids concentrations. Also, there was a site specific concern
with the ability of the effluent denitrification units to manage highly varying nitrate loadings that would be caused by planned changes in the activated sludge BNR process during wet weather conditions. This paper will present the results of this demonstration testing and subsequent design
criteria for the selected filter.
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