The objective of this study was to investigate a small sewage treatment system that could improve nitrogen and BOD5 removal efficiency as well as generate less solid using an anaerobic-anoxic-aerobic biofiltration system. Wastewater temperature was in the range of 14–25°C, and hydraulic residual times were 12 h for each reactor. The upflow anaerobic digester equipped with anoxic filter was fed with both raw sewage and recycled effluent from the aerobic filter to induce denitrification and solid reduction simultaneously. In the subsequent aerobic filter, residual organic carbon and ammonia might be oxidized and finally nitrate formed. In the anaerobic reactor, about 71% of influent TCOD was removed by sedimentation of the un-filterable COD at the recycle ratio of 300%. Another 20% of influent TCOD was removed in the anoxic filter by denitrification of the recycled nitrate. After 100 days operation, solid reduction and nitrification efficiency were about 30% and 95%, respectively. Overall removal efficiencies of COD and total nitrogen (T-N) were above 94% and 70% at the recycle ratio of 300%, respectively. Total wasted solid from the system after 100 days operation was about 316 g, which was only 44% of the solid generated from a controlled activated sludge system operated at sludge retention time of 8 days.

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