Advanced treatment of WWTP effluent with filtration leading to a pretreatment technique for membrane filtration

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In 2000 the European Union introduced the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The aim of the WFD is having an ecological and chemical balance for all surface waters in Europe in 2015. The European Commission identified 33 priority substances and their maximum allowable concentrations, FHI-values (Fraunhofer Institute), which are specified in the Annex of the WFD. The objective of this research is to achieve the removal of suspended solids, nitrogen and total phosphorus together with priority substances. All these substances will be removed in one filter called a “One Step Total Effluent Polishing filter” i.e. 1-STEP filter. For this purpose a filter pilot plant was tested at the WWTP Horstermeer. The results show that the filter can fulfil the target values in the filtrate water for total nitrogen (2.2 mg Ntotal/L) and total phosphorus (0.15 mg Ptotal/L). The majority of the priority (hazardous) substances in the WWTP effluent are already below the detection limit. Due to the low concentration ranges, the results on the removal of medicine and pesticides are only indicative. A decreasing tendency in the removal efficiency is shown for all measured compounds. The average specific ultrafiltration resistance (SUR) value decrease of the filter is 55% and the final value is always below 5·1012 m-2. This indicates that the filtrate water of the filter is very well filterable and can be used as ultrafiltration feedwater.

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