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Oxygen Transfer in a Full-Depth Biological Aerated Filter

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The City of San Diego, California, evaluated the performance capabilities of biological aerated filters (BAFs) at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant. The City conducted a 1-year pilot-plant evaluation of BAF technology supplied by two BAF manufacturers. This paper reports on the first independent oxygen-transfer test of BAFs at full depth using the offgas method. The tests showed process-water oxygen-transfer efficiencies of 1.6 to 5.8%/m (0.5 to 1.8%/ft) and 3.9 to 7.9%/m (1.2 to 2.4%/ft) for the two different pilot plants, at their nominal design conditions. Mass balances using chemical oxygen demand and dissolved organic carbon corroborated the transfer rates. Rates are higher than expected from fine-pore diffusers for similar process conditions and depths and clean-water conditions for the same column and are mostly attributed to extended bubble retention time resulting from interactions with the media and biofilm.

Keywords: aeration; biological aerated filter; chemically enhanced primary treatment; municipal wastewater; offgas testing; oxygen transfer efficiency

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2008

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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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