Tertiary filters are a critical process in many wastewater treatment facilities. It helps capture the solids carried over from secondary clarifiers and maintain a great final effluent quality. Many technologies can be chosen to achieve the filtration goal today. The slow sand filtration
is still widely used in many facilities because of its reliable performance and low maintenance cost. The tertiary filter treatment capacity is always of interest for facility operators and consulting engineers. In this study, a series of full-scale stress tests were designed and conducted
on a group of sand filters to investigate impacting factors on filter capacity and to explore an appropriate way to evaluate the filter capacity. It was found that solids loading to the filters has a much bigger impact on filter capacity than hydraulic loading does. Secondary effluent total
suspended solids content greatly affects filter run time and head loss development. It is suggested that the filter hydraulic capacity shall be evaluated with varying solids loading.
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