Abstract

This study investigated matrix oxidation–reduction potential (ORP), nitrogen removal, N2O emission and nitrogen removal functional gene abundance in three subsurface wastewater infiltration systems (SWISs), named SWIS A (without aeration or shunt distributing wastewater), SWIS B (with shunt distributing wastewater) and SWIS C (with intermittent aeration and shunt distributing wastewater) under different shunt ratios. Aerobic conditions were produced at a depth of 50 cm and anoxic or anaerobic conditions were not changed at depths of 80 and 110 cm by aeration in SWIS C. High average removal rates of chemical oxygen demand (COD) (83.1% for SWIS B, 90.9% for SWIS C), NH3-N (74.3% for SWIS B, 90.8% for SWIS C) and total nitrogen (TN) (61.1% for SWIS B, 87.9% for SWIS C) were obtained under shunt ratios of 1:3 and 1:2 for SWIS B and C, respectively. The lowest N2O emission rate (28.4 mg/(m2 d)) and highest nitrogen removal functional gene abundances were achieved in SWIS C under a 1:2 shunt ratio. The results suggested intermittent aeration and shunt distributing wastewater combined strategy would enhance nitrogen removal and reduce N2O emission for SWISs.

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