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Metal Ion and Other Key Water Quality Constituent Attenuation in Soil Columns

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Abstract:

A set of soil columns was constructed to simulate discharge of disinfected tertiary treated wastewater to a river via nearby land application or indirect discharge. The system was primarily designed to observe the fate of metal ions and nutrients. The following three experiments were conducted: (1) flow through saturated soils only, which simulates indirect discharge where water is directly applied to groundwater; (2) flow through unsaturated soil followed by saturated flow, which simulates vadose then saturated zone transport; and (3) saturated flow only using ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid-metal chelates, which determined effects of metal organic complexes on metal mobility through the soil.

Metal ion attenuation was substantial but not complete in experiments 1 and 2 (removal: 68% Cu2+, 43% Ni2+, 98% Pb2+, and 96% Hg2+), which was somewhat contrary to modeling results. Cyanide attenuation was also monitored (92% removal). In experiment 3, lead attenuation was somewhat reduced (92% removal) and delayed (requiring additional residence time); copper attenuation was significantly reduced (38% removal) and delayed; and nickel concentrations were higher in the 28-day sample (>80 µg/L) than in the column feed water (58 µg/L). Near-complete denitrification and total phosphorus attenuation were observed. For the water quality constituents studied, unsaturated (vadose zone) transport did not appear to add additional benefit.

Keywords: copper; denitrification; ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid chelation; groundwater; lead; metal ion adsorption; nickel; subsurface fate and transport

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143011X13173281922473

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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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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