Intermittent infiltration of wastewater through a non saturated sand bed is an extensive treatment process aimed at eliminating organic pollution, oxidizing ammonia and removing pathogens. A 1D numerical model, IPOX, has been worked out to simulate the transfer and oxidation of dissolved organic matter and nitrogen in unsaturated sand beds. IPOX was calibrated after real scale tests performed in Spain and Burkina Faso. Simulations allowed us to point out the influence of (i) kinetics on oxidation performances and (ii) biomass development on the process sustainability. These results brought a new light on the sizing and operation of infiltration percolation and soil aquifer treatment (SAT) plants.

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