Pilot plant studies were conducted to evaluate the use of pre-denitrification for nitrogen removal at low-rate biological filter works. The plant was operated over a range of recycle ratios to determine the optimum operating conditions. It was possible to meet a total nitrogen limit of 15 mg TN/l with a 2:1 ratio of recycled filter effluent to settled sewage. Following the studies, an economic comparison was made to compare the costs of pre-denite plant with post-denitrification in tertiary sand filters. The cost-effectiveness of the pre-denite process depended on the price of the external carbon source used in post-denite plant. Biological fluidised beds were shown to be the most cost-effective type of pre-denite plant.

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