ABSTRACT: A better understanding of wastewater treatment with soil filters is important to optimise plant operation and reduce the risk of clogging. The article presents results of a treatment concept which uses a combination of SBR and vertical-flow sand filter technology. The SBR was mainly used for denitrification and sedimentation of substances in particulate form. Efficient nitrification was achieved by the planted sand filter. Degradation rates of 10gNH(4)-N/(m(2)xd) were measured for periods with peak loadings. The two-dimensional dynamic model reproduces the biofilm growth and decay of heterotrophic and autotrophic biomass. It is capable of describing the clogging of the sand filter by combining a biochemical and a geometric model. After calibration, the model was used for the calculation of maximum nitrogen degradation performances. Maximum degradation rates of 12gNH(4)-N/(m(2)xd) can be achieved if the COD/TKN ratio is reduced before to a level lower than that of municipal wastewater. The COD was further degraded in the filter than we expected comparing it with activated sludge plants. Within the soil filter a biofilm thickness of up to 110microm is simulated depending on the embankment of gravel and grains of sand. Sensitivity analysis of model parameters showed the high impact of the maximum autotrophic growth rate, the autotrophic yield, the diffusion coefficient for oxygen and the number of contact points of the single grains of sand.
Water Research 09/2008; 42(14):3899-909. · 4.86 Impact Factor