Twelve research wetlands were operated under varying conditions at a site west of the city of Phoenix. These were constructed as a triplicated design, with zero, one, two and three internal deep zones, all containing an inlet distribution and an outlet collection deep zone, together comprising 12.5–35% of the wetland areas. The water supply was partially nitrified effluent from a city wastewater treatment plant. Total nitrogen was reduced by about 50%, from inflow concentrations between 6 and 8 mg/L. Speciation of the inflow was approximately 25% organic nitrogen, 25% ammonium nitrogen and 50% nitrate nitrogen. Typical outflow concentrations were about 1.2 mg/L organic, 0.5 mg/L ammonium and 0.0–2.5 mg/L nitrate. Rate constants for total nitrogen were 15–20 m/year at 20 °C, and 20–30 m/year for nitrate, which agree well with other project reports. Temperature factors averaged 1.100 for total nitrogen, and 1.184 for nitrate. There were no differences in the internal hydraulics with deep zone numbers. Deep zone numbers in the wetlands did not affect nitrogen treatment performance. No differences with deep zone numbers were found for temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, or nitrogen removals or rate constants. In conjunction with other reported results, there appears to be no large treatment benefit or detriment of incorporating internal deep zones in free water surface wetlands.

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