The rate of nitrification within a laboratory-scale Biological Aerated Filtration treatment system at 4°C was investigated during an exposure time of approximately four months (acclimatized experiments). In addition, shock experiments from 20°C to 4°C and from 4°C to 20°C were performed. The acclimatized experiments demonstrated that the exposure time the system remained at low temperature strongly affects the rates of nitrification. Nevertheless, the experiments showed that significant nitrification rates are maintained for up to 115 days at 4°C. The rate of ammonia removal after an exposure time of 115 days at 4°C was shown to be as high as 16% of the rate of removal observed at 20°C. The 20°C to 4°C shock experiment demonstrated a 56% decrease in the rate of ammonia removal. On the other hand, the 4°C to 20°C shock experiment demonstrated an increase in the relative rates of ammonia removal of up to 300% when compared to rates of removal measured after 115 days at 4°C. Thus, although the rates of nitrification have been shown to decrease significantly as a function of exposure time at 4°C, the process has demonstrated important rates of ammonia removal at 4°C for the approximate span of the North American winter.

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