After falling in disfavor in the U.S. in the 1970s, trickling filters are now reappearing in new applications. The Trickling Filter/Solids Contact (TF/SC) process uses physical and biological flocculation features to transform the poor quality of the trickling filter effluent into an effluent equal to the best activated sludge system. Over 50 TF/SC plants have been built since the process was introduced in 1979. The recent development (1988) of the Biofilm-Controlled Nitrifying Trickling Filter (BCNTF) has permitted higher rate operation and rendered the process less costly than the activated sludge system for nitrification. Three BCNTF projects are now underway in the U.S.

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