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Comparison of Clinoptilolite and Gravel in a Recirculating Course Media Biofilter for Treating Septic Tank Effluent

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The objective of the pilot scale study was to compare total inorganic nitrogen (TIN) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) removal from simulated septic tank effluent using a recirulating clinoptilolite biofilter and a course gravel biofilter to achieve simultaneous nitrification and denitrification. Both biofilters were operated with a recycle ratio of 6 and surface hydraulic loading rates of 7.5 gallons per square foot per day (gal/ft2/day) without recycle and 52.5 gal/ft2/day with recycle, throughout the duration of the pilot testing activities. Composite sample results show improved nitrification was achieved in the clinoptilolite biofilter. Average TIN removal of 80.4 % was achieved in the clinoptilolite biofilter as compared to 73 % removal in gravel biofilter. Analysis of the results showed 77% COD removal for both biofilters. The performance of both biofilters was affected by excessive biomass generation which resulted in pore clogging within the filter media. More severe clogging was observed in the clinoptilolite biofilter due to physical disintegration of the clinoptilolite media.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-01-01

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