IWA Publishing

Biofiltration as pre-treatment to water harvesting and recycling

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This paper presents the results of the long term biofilter experiments conducted with raw stormwater collected from a canal at Carlton, in Sydney. Anthracite and granular activated carbon (GAC) were used as a single filter media in biofilter columns. Media heights of 75 and 40 cm were used. The filter columns were operated at filtration velocities of 0.12 and 0.25 m/h. The removal efficiency for turbidity and DOC for the GAC filter media were found to be 75% and almost 100% respectively. The removal efficiency for the anthracite filter was much lower. Molecular weight distribution analysis showed an almost similar trend to the DOC removal. Compared with anthracite filter media, the GAC biofilter removed a much larger range of organic compounds present in the stormwater. The GAC biofilter removes organic matter earlier as compared to anthracite. Based on a limited sample of stormwater, the removal efficiency for phosphorus was upto 74% and that of nitrogen was up to 30%. In general GAC filter shows higher heavy metal removal efficiency than anthracite. The removal of zinc, iron, lead and nickel were good. However the concentration of heavy metal in the raw surface water sample was low.

Keywords: adsorption, biofiltration, MFI, stormwater, water treatment

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