Significance of drying periods on nitrate removal in experimental biofilters

Subramaniam, Daniel, Egodawatta, Prasanna, Gallage, Chaminda, Mather, Peter, & Rajapakse, Jay (2014) Significance of drying periods on nitrate removal in experimental biofilters. Journal of Water Management and Modeling.

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Nitrogen is an important nutrient that can impact the quality of aquatic environments when present in high concentration. Even though low concentration levels of ammonium-nitrogen have been observed in laboratory studies in bioretention basins, poor removal or even the production of nitrate-nitrogen within the filter is often recorded in such studies. Ten Perspex biofilter columns of 94 mm (internal diameter) were packed with a filter layer, transition layer and a gravel layer. While the filter layer was packed to a height of 800 mm, transition and gravel layers were packed to a composite height of 220 mm and operated with simulated stormwater in the laboratory. The filter layer contained 8% organic material by weight. A free board of 350 mm provided detention storage and head to facilitate infiltration. The columns were operated with different antecedent dry days (0 d to 21 d) and constant inflow concentration at a feed rate of 100 mL/min. Samples were collected from the outflow at different time intervals, between 2 min and 150 min from the start of outflow, and were tested for nitrate-nitrogen and total organic carbon. Washoff of organic carbon from the filter layer was observed to occur for 30 min of outflow. This indicated washoff of organic carbon from the filter itself. At the same time, a very low concentration of nitrate-nitrogen was recorded at the beginning of the outflow, indicating the effective removal of nitrate-nitrogen. We conclude that the removal of nitrate-nitrogen is insignificant during the wetting phase of a rainfall event and the process of denitrification is more pronounced during the drying phase of a rainfall event. Thus intermittent wetting and drying is crucial for the removal of nitrate-nitrogen in bioretention basins.

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ID Code: 78695
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Stormwater, Biofilters, Laboratory columns, Nitrate removal, Drying periods
DOI: 10.14796/JWMM.C381
ISSN: 2292-6062
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Water Quality Engineering (090508)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (090700) > Environmental Technologies (090703)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 CHI
Deposited On: 16 Nov 2014 22:53
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2014 17:48

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