Attenuation of bulk organic matter, nutrients (N and P), and pathogen indicators during soil passage: Effect of temperature and redox conditions in simulated soil aquifer treatment (SAT)

Soil aquifer treatment (SAT) is a costeffective natural wastewater treatment and reuse technology. It is an environmentally friendly technology that does not require chemical usage and is applicable to both developing and developed countries. However, the presence of organic matter, nutrients, and pathogens poses a major health threat to the population exposed to partially treated wastewater or reclaimed water through SAT. Laboratory-based soil column and batch experiments simulating SAT were conducted to examine the influence of temperature variation and oxidation-reduction (redox) conditions on removal of bulk organic matter, nutrients, and indicator microorganisms using primary effluent. While an average dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal of 17.7 % was achieved in soil columns at 5 °C, removal at higher temperatures increased by 10 % increments with increase in temperature by 5 °C over the range of 15 to 25 °C. Furthermore, soil column and batch experiments conducted under different redox conditions revealed higher DOC removal in aerobic (oxic) experiments compared to anoxic experiments. Aerobic soil columns exhibited DOC removal 15 % higher than that achieved in the anoxic columns, while aerobic batch showed DOC removal 7.8 % higher than the corresponding anoxic batch experiments. Ammonium-nitrogen removal greater than 99 % was observed at 20 and 25 °C, while 89.7 % was removed at 15 °C, but the removal substantially decreased to 8.8 % at 5 °C. While ammonium-nitrogen was attenuated by 99.9 % in aerobic batch reactors carried out at room temperature, anoxic experiments under similar conditions revealed 12.1 % ammonium-nitrogen reduction, corresponding to increase in nitrate-nitrogen and decrease in sulfate concentration. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012.

Abel, C. D. T., Sharma, S. K., Malolo, Y. N., Maeng, S. K., Kennedy, M. D., & Amy, G. L. (2012). Attenuation of Bulk Organic Matter, Nutrients (N and P), and Pathogen Indicators During Soil Passage: Effect of Temperature and Redox Conditions in Simulated Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT). Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 223(8), 5205–5220. doi:10.1007/s11270-012-1272-8

This study was financially supported by UNESCO-IHE Partnership Research Fund (UPaRF) project No. 32019417 NATSYS. We are thankful to the UNESCO-IHE laboratory staff for their support in conducting experiments.

Springer Nature

Water, Air, & Soil Pollution


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