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Pilot Testing for Low-Level Phosphorus Removal: Confronting Non-Reactive Phosphorus Challenges

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In 2007, the North Attleborough, Massachusetts wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) received a renewed NPDES permit with a more stringent effluent total phosphorus (TP) limit of 0.1 mg/L. The WWTF was designed to meet a TP limit of 1.0 mg/L using biological and multi-point chemical phosphorus removal with dual-media filters. In 2008 while upgrades were being planned, the effluent soluble non-reactive phosphorus (sNRP) concentration averaged 0.06 mg/L. At 60% of the allowable effluent concentration, sNRP could pose a significant challenge to meeting the new effluent limit. Phosphorus removal technologies were screened, and three 2-stage systems were pilot tested in 2009 with a focus on both TP and sNRP removal. All systems were able to meet the TP limit, and sNRP was reduced significantly through tertiary phosphorus treatment, averaging 0.01 mg/L. Based on pilot testing performance and a life-cycle cost analysis, a single-stage cloth media filter was selected for full-scale implementation.
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Keywords: ballasted flocculation; cloth; deep-bed sand filtration; phosphorus removal; pilot testing; soluble non-reactive phosphorus

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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