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Inferred metal toxicity during the biotreatment of high ammonia landfill leachate

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ABSTRACT:

Two nitrification-denitrification systems were used to determine the possible inhibitory and/or toxic effects of supplementa metals addition to the nitrification-denitrification process in the treatment of a relatively high ammonia, low biodegradable carbon, municipa landfill leachate.

The addition of metals likely resulted in the precipitation of phosphorus which caused the nitrification-denitrification process to be inhibited due to the deficiency of bioavailable phosphorus. Even though the phosphorus concentrations in mixed liquor and system effluent samples filtered through Whatman No. 4 filters or glass-fiber filters appeared to be adequate, it was discovered that they were considerably lower when filtered through 0.45-µm membrane filters. This seemed to indicate that although some of the precipitated phosphorus passed through the Whatman No. 4 filter, it was not available as a nutrient for microbial metabolism. Therefore, only the phosphorus that will pass through a 0.45-µm membrane filter, and is defined as soluble in Standard Methods (1985) is readily available to the microorganisms. This should be monitored ensure sufficient nutrient availability in nitrification-denitrification treatment systems potentially exposed to metals capable of precipitating phosphorus. It is recommended that a minimum soluble phosphorus concentration of 0.5 mg/L be maintained to ensure adequate phosphorus for nitrification and denitrification; in addition, when conducting activated sludge metal toxicity studies, total or Whatman No. 4-filtered samples should not be used to determine the presence of adequate phosphorus.
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Keywords: ammonia; biological treatment; denitrification; landfill leachate; nickel; nitrification; phosphorus; toxicity; zinc

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1992-11-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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