Small communities that are sewered by either package sewage treatment plants or on-site sewerage facilities are finding that the ground and surface waters are being contaminated. Nitrogen, which typically is not removed in these conventional systems, is a major concern. This project evaluated the capability of four sewage treatment technologies to reduce the amount of nitrogen being discharged in the effluent to the receiving environment. The four sewage treatment processes evaluated include a recirculating sand filter, biofilter, slow sand filter and constructed subsurface flow wetland. These processes were evaluated for their capability to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, BOD5 and TSS. The primary objective of the project was to evaluate the capability of these treatment processes to reduce nitrogen using biological processes nitrification and denitrification. This paper reports on the performance of these processes to reduce nitrogen. The study demonstrated that the biofilter was capable of removing from a primary treated influent 40% of the total nitrogen. For the same quality influent the recirculating sand filter was capable of removing 35% of the total nitrogen. Secondary treated effluent was fed to the slow sand filter and the subsurface flow wetland. There was a 52% reduction in total nitrogen through the wetland however there was virtually no reduction in total nitrogen through the slow sand filter.

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