Nitrate and Phosphate Removal through Enhanced Bioretention Media: Mesocosm Study

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Bioretention is an evolving type of Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) designed to attenuate peak flows, reduce stormwater volume, and treat stormwater. This article examines the capabilities of a bioretention soil mixture of sand and compost enhanced with aluminum-based drinking water treatment residuals to reduce nutrients from stormwater runoff. Columns with and without a saturation zone and vegetation were compared to examine their role in removing nitrate and ortho-phosphate from stormwater. Results show that utilization of a saturation zone can significantly reduce nitrate in effluent water (71% compared to 33% without a saturated zone), even in a newly constructed system. However, ortho-phosphate reduction was significantly better in the columns without a saturated zone (80%) compared to columns with (67%). Plants did not significantly improve removal. This suggests amendments such as aluminum-based water treatment residuals for phosphorus removal and a saturation zone for nitrogen removal are needed during the initial establishment period.
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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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