A pilot study was performed to evaluate the potential of an inert self-supported immersed fixed film media to upgrade aerated lagoons. Simultaneous organic matter removal and nitrification was assessed under different loading rates and temperatures (near 0 °C) using 12 laboratory-scale reactors operated in parallel. Test results showed that both the temperature and the load have an influence on organic matter effluent concentrations. Effluent quality seemed related to the observed biofilm thickness. Thicker biofilm is believed to have contributed to biomass detachment and increased particulate organic matter concentrations in the effluent. Simultaneous organic removal and nitrification was obtained at loads above 5 g CBOD5/m2·d. The highest nitrification rate at 0.4 °C was obtained for the smallest load, which showed a nitrification limitation close to freezing point.

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