Septage is wastewater stored temporarily in cesspools. A periodic supply of its significant quantities to small municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) may cause many operational problems. In the frame of the research, it has been proposed to utilize vertical flow constructed wetlands for pre-treatment of septage prior to its input to the biological stage of a WWTP. The aim of the work was to assess the effectiveness of pre-treatment in relation to factors such as: seasonality, hydraulic load, pollutants load of the VF bed and interactions between these factors. The results proved that application of a VF bed to septage pre-treatment can significantly reduce the concentration of pollutants (biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5): 82%, chemical oxygen demand (COD): 82%, total suspended solids (TSS): 91%, total nitrogen (TN): 47%, ammonia nitrogen (NH4-N): 70%), and thus decrease the loading of the biological stage of a WWTP. The mathematical models of mass removal process were created. They indicate that in case of all analysed parameters, removed load goes up with the increase of load in the influent. However, with the increase of hydraulic load, a decrease of the removed BOD5, COD, TSS and total phosphorus, and in vegetation period an increase of TN, can be observed in terms of load. There are no statistically significant effects of seasonality.

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