The relative efficiencies of pollutant removal from airport runoff by three different designs of pilot scale reedbed treatment systems located at Heathrow airport are described. The sub-surface flow and surface flow systems generally performed more effectively than the rafted systems for reduction of BOD, COD, total ammonia, nitrate, phosphate and metal concentrations. The variable removal efficiencies are explained in terms of the physical, chemical and biological processes which are relevant to each reedbed system.

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