Effects of chemical oxygen demand (COD)/N ratios on pollutants removal in the subsurface wastewater infiltration systems with/without intermittent aeration

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The matrix oxidation reduction potential level, organic pollutants and nitrogen removal performances of eight subsurface wastewater infiltration systems (SWISs) (four with intermittent aeration, four without intermittent aeration) fed with influent chemical oxygen demand (COD)/N ratio of 3, 6, 12 and 18 were investigated. Nitrification of non-aerated SWISs was poor due to oxygen deficiency while higher COD/N ratios further led to lower COD and nitrogen removal rate. Intermittent aeration achieved almost complete nitrification, which successfully created aerobic conditions in the depth of 50 cm and did not change anoxic or anaerobic conditions in the depth of 80 and 110 cm. The sufficient carbon source in high COD/N ratio influent greatly promoted denitrification in SWISs with intermittent aeration. High average removal rates of COD (95.68%), ammonia nitrogen (NH4+-N) (99.32%) and total nitrogen (TN) (89.65%) were obtained with influent COD/N ratio of 12 in aerated SWISs. The results suggest that intermittent aeration was a reliable option to achieve high nitrogen removal in SWISs, especially with high COD/N ratio wastewater.

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