The effect of aerated rock filter geometry on the rate of nitrogen removal from facultative pond effluents
Rock filters are an established technology for polishing waste stabilization pond effluents. However, they rapidly become anoxic and consequently do not remove ammonium-nitrogen. Horizontal-flow aerated rock filters (HFARF), developed to permit nitrification and hence ammonium-N removal, were compared with a novel vertical-flow aerated rock filter (VFARF). There were no differences in the removals of BOD5, TSS and TKN, but the VFARF consistently produced effluents with lower ammonium-N concentrations (<0.3 mg N/L) than the HFARF (0.8−1.5 mg N/L) and higher nitrate-N concentrations (24–29 mg N/L vs. 17–24 mg N/L).
Keywords: aerated rock filters, ammonium nitrogen, facultative ponds, horizontal flow, vertical flow