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Phosphorus is generally the limiting nutrient that controls eutrophication and water quality in freshwater bodies and in some estuarine areas. Coastal freshwater ponds in particular have phosphorus management challenges as the soils are typically sandy and have very limited, and reversible as the USGS has determined, capacity for phosphorus removal. Phosphorus contributions from on-site wastewater management systems is the cause of coastal pond accelerated eutrophication in many areas. There are limited small flow phosphorus treatment technologies available.

Phosphorus removal can be achieved by:


Mineralization with iron, aluminum or calcium

Precipitation with ferric chloride or aluminum

Biological Nutrient Removal

Of these techniques, only sorption, mineralization and precipitation are considered viable for small to medium (individual to cluster size to <0.5 MGD) size applications.

This paper discusses the mechanisms for phosphorus removal, in particular the PhosRID™ (Reductive Iron Dissolution) Technology, which relies upon mineralization of dissolved phosphorus and dissolved iron to vivianite and strengite through the production of ferrous iron in an anaerobic RID reactor and conversion of the ferrous iron to ferric iron in the second stage oxidative step of the RID process, which then enables the mineralization of phosphate and ferric to strengite. Performance summaries for projects that have utilized the PhosRID™ Phosphorus Removal Technology are included in this paper.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864708790894340

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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