Construction is currently under way in Hong Kong of a US$ 575 million water treatment and transfer scheme including the first 250 Ml/d stage of a new water treatment works at Tai Po, with an ultimate capacity of 1,200 Ml/d. The design incorporates primary aerated biological filters for ammonia and manganese removal as a key element of the treatment strategy.

Pilot filter work was carried out for a period of over twelve months covering seasonal variations. The work included investigations into “start up” times; ammonia removal efficiency at different filtration rates; effects of flow changes; ammonia peaks and temperatures; aeration and chemical dosing requirements; recovery after a “kill” and operation in both downflow and upflow modes. The pilot filters demonstrated the process to be effective and robust and provided design parameters for the sizing of the process units and for the provision of chemical dosing and aeration equipment.

The paper sets the context to the scheme, describes the pilot filter work and the results, discusses the reaction kinetics and shows how the design parameters obtained from the pilot filter work were used in the development of the engineering design of the treatment works.

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