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In order to meet very low nitrogen limits, denitrification filters are often designed conservatively to account for variations in actual operating conditions that may impact performance. Under full-scale conditions, the filters can be exposed to significant changes in loading rates due to diurnal variations, wet weather events, and upsets in upstream processes at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Accounting for these variations is an important component in the design of WWTPs to meet “limit of technology” (LOT) level nitrogen and phosphorus limits. Review of industry-standard textbooks for wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) design reveals that design guidance for packed-bed denitrification filters is largely empirical and has not advanced much in the past 15 years. Although some of the commercially available wastewater process simulators contain a fixed-film module, these fixed film models have not been applied industry-wide for design and evaluation of denitrification filters.

To help develop and test the response of the model for upflow continuous backwash filters, a comprehensive set of data depicting operation under a variety of conditions is required. From November 2004 through March 2005, pilot testing of upflow continuous backwash filter (UCB) for tertiary denitrification and phosphorus removal was conducted at the Hagerstown wastewater treatment plant. The testing program included operation over a range of hydraulic and nitrate mass loading rates, moderate and cold weather operation, and with and without chemical phosphorus removal. The response of the filters to spike loads of nitrate and solids, and wet weather flows was also tested. A nutrient analyzer was used to capture multiple nutrient data points each hour over an extended period. This paper develops a calibrated process model for the Hagerstown pilot testing using the GPS-X software.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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