A treatment plant using conventional biological treatment combined with hydroponics and microalgae is constructed in a greenhouse in the area of Stockholm, Sweden. The treatment plant is built for research purposes and presently treats 0.559 m3 of domestic wastewater from the surrounding area per day. The system uses anoxic pre-denitrification followed by aerobic tanks for nitrification and plant growth. A microalgal step further reduces phosphorus, and a final sand filter polishes the water. During a three week period in July 2002 the treatment capacity of this system was evaluated with respect to removal of organic matter, phosphorus and nitrogen. 90% COD removal was obtained early in the system. Nitrification and denitrification was well established with total nitrogen reduction of 72%. Phosphorus was removed by 47% in the process. However, higher phosphorus removal values are expected as the microalgal step will be further developed. The results show that acceptable treatment can be achieved using this kind of system. Further optimisation of the system will lead to clean water as well as valuable plants to be harvested from the nutrient rich wastewater.

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