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Constructed reed beds: A cost-effective way to polish wastewater effluents for small communities

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This paper outlines the increasing need for effluent polishing in the United Kingdom. It puts that need in the context of the more than 700 sewage treatment works serving populations of less than 2 000 in Severn Trent Water's area of the English Midlands. Constructed reed beds have their place in a design selection matrix. At the end of 1991, they were in use at 12 sites and more than 60 are programmed for completion in 1992. The design and construction of reed beds used for effluent polishing is described. Detailed results are given for five of the works commissioned between 1987 and late 1991. All produce high quality effluents in terms of BOD5 and total suspended solids. A cost comparison between reed beds and modular sandfilters, based on recent contract prices, is shown. Estimates of maintenance, labor costs, and asset life are included.
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Keywords: costs; design; operation; reed beds; tertiary treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-05-01

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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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