Treatment of Septic Tank Effluents by a Full-Scale Capillary Seepage Soil Biofiltration System

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The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of septic tank effluent treatment by an underground capillary seepage soil biofiltration system in a suburban area of Taipei, Taiwan. In contrast to traditional subsurface wastewater infiltration systems, capillary seepage soil biofiltration systems initially draw incoming influent upwards from the distribution pipe by capillary and siphonage actions, then spread influent throughout the soil biofiltration bed. The underground capillary seepage soil biofiltration system consists of a train of underground treatment units, including one wastewater distribution tank, two capillary seepage soil biofiltration units in series, and a discharge tank. Each capillary seepage soil biofiltration unit contains one facultative digestion tank and one set of biofiltration beds. At the flow rate of 50 m3/day, average influent concentrations of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), suspended solid (SS), ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N), and total phosphates (TP), were 36.15 mg/L, 29.14 mg/L, 16.05 mg/L, and 1.75 mg/L, respectively. After 1.5 years of system operation, the measured influent and effluent results show that the treatment efficiencies of the soil biofiltration system for BOD, SS, NH3-N, TP, and total coliforms are 82.96%, 60.95%, 67.17%, 74.86%, and 99.99%, respectively.

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