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Septic wastewater treatment using recycled rubber particles as biofiltration media

Oh, Jin Hwan, Park, Jaeyoung, Ellis, Timothy G.
Environmental technology 2014 v.35 no.5 pp. 637-644
adsorption, ammonia, ammonium nitrogen, biochemical oxygen demand, biofilters, biofiltration, biological treatment, gravel, high water table, peat, rubber, septic systems, sewage effluent, surface area, total suspended solids, wastewater treatment
Performance of the laboratory-scale recycled rubber particles (RRP) biofilter was compared to a conventional gravel system and a peat biofilter for treatment of septic tank effluent. During the study, the RRP biofilter provided similar or better performance than other systems in terms of organic removal and hydraulic capacity. After the start-up period, RRP biofilter achieved removal efficiencies for BOD ₅, total suspended solids (TSS), ammonia nitrogen of 96%, 93%, and 90%, respectively, over the range of hydraulic loading rates of 57–204 L/m ²/d. On the other hand, the peat biofilter failed hydraulically and the gravel system showed high TSS concentrations in the effluent. RRP provided high surface area and sufficient time for biological treatment. In addition, RRP was observed to provide ammonia adsorption capacity. The results showed that RRP has the potential to be used as substitutes for natural aggregate such as gravel in septic system drainfields. The RRP biofilter can be used as alternative septic systems for the sites where an existing septic system has failed or site conditions, such as high groundwater table or small lot size, are not suitable for the installation of conventional septic systems.