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Nickel and copper removal at the San Jose/Santa Clara water pollution control plant

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The fate of particulate and dissolved nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) was determined at various stages in a 7.3 m3/s (167 mgd) tertiary treatment plant consisting of primary sedimentation, off-line primary effluent equalization, first-stage (secondary) activated sludge, second-stage (nitrification) activated sludge, prefilter chloramination, filtration, disinfection and dechlorination. At micrograms/liter levels, particulate Cu and Ni removals were higher than dissolved Cu and Ni removals. Only secondary activated sludge removed the dissolved Cu. No other process removed either dissolved Cu or Ni. The dissolved Cu concentration in the second stage nitrification activated sludge plant effluent was higher than that in the first stage secondary activated sludge plant effluent. Prefilter chloramination solubilized particulate Cu and decreased the overall Cu removal by filtration. The dissolved Cu removed by the activated sludge systems varied seasonally; the higher removals seemed to be associated with increased activated sludge growth.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1996

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  • 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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