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Chabazite Biofilter for Enhanced Stormwater Nitrogen Removal

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Enhanced nitrogen removal from stormwater using chabazite, a natural cation exchanger, was evaluated in a pilot-plant biofilter operated for 216 days. A parallel sand filter served as the control. The biofilters were subject to various operating modes including baseline periods of steady flowrate and loading, simulated high flowrate (storm) events following steady flowrates, high flowrates following extended no-flow periods, and with limited influent dissolved oxygen. Under steady-flow operation, chabazite removed 93% of ammonium and sand removed 87%; total inorganic nitrogen was reduced 35% by chabazite versus 15% by sand. In a simulated storm event following steady-flow operation, 97% of cumulative ammonia mass was retained by the chabazite biofilter versus 70% for sand. Following a 40 day no-flow period, the chabazite biofilter retained 98% of influent ammonium in a storm event while sand exhibited high effluent ammonium. Chabazite ammonium retention was high under limited influent dissolved oxygen, verses significant breakthrough by the sand biofilter. Chabazite media provided superior performance resiliency under dynamic conditions that typify stormwater treatment.

Keywords: ammonium; biofiltration; chabazite; nitrification; nitrogen; shock load; stormwater; zeolite

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2011

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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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