Biofilters are common, low energy technologies used for the treatment of urban stormwater. While they have shown promising results for the removal of stormwater microorganisms, certain factors affect their performance. Hence, this study investigated the effects of particle–microbial interaction, inflow concentration, antecedent microbial levels and plant species on microbial removal capacity. A biofilter column study was set up to evaluate removal performance and a sequential filtration procedure was used to estimate microbial partitioning. The columns were dosed with different concentrations of free phase Escherichia coli only and E. coli mixed with stormwater sediment. Results indicate that the microbial removal is significantly affected by inflow concentration and antecedent microbial levels. Leaching was only observed when a relatively low inflow concentration event occurred within a short period after a very high inflow concentration event. Finally, Lomandra longifolia showed better removal compared with Carex appressa.

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