Potato processing wastewater contains high concentrations of COD, TSS and TKN. A combination of surface flow wetlands, intermittent vertical flow wetlands, ponds and land application has been used for treatment. This engineered natural system balances irrigation requirements, nitrogen supply and seasonal growth patterns to provide effective year-round operation. A first pilot wetland was operated to determine operability, effectiveness, and plant survival at high COD and nitrogen concentrations. A second pilot system of four wetlands in series was operated to obtain design and operating information. Two surface flow wetlands provided TSS and COD reduction, and ammonified the organic nitrogen. Subsequently, nitrification occurred in the vertical flow wetlands, followed by denitrification in a surface flow wetland. The design target was a balanced nitrogen and irrigation supply for application to crops. Winter storage as used to match the crop application period to the growing season. Both pilot projects met design objectives, and a full scale system has begun operation.

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