A system comprising a UASB reactor, shallow polishing ponds and shallow coarse filters, treating actual wastewater from the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has been evaluated. The main focus of the research was to compare grain sizes and hydraulic loading rates in the coarse filters. Two filters operating in parallel were investigated, with the following grain sizes: Filter 1: 3 to 10 cm; Filter 2: 8 to 20 cm. Two hydraulic loading rates were tested: 0.5 and 1.0 m3/m3.d. The filter with the lower rock size had a better performance than the filter with the larger rock size in the removal of SS and, as a consequence, BOD and COD. A better performance was obtained with the hydraulic loading rate of 0.5 m3/m3.d, as compared to the rate of 1.0 m3/m3.d. The effluent quality during the period with the lower loading rate was very good for discharge into water bodies or for agricultural reuse (median effluent concentrations from Filter 1: BOD: 20 mg/L; COD: 106 mg/L; SS: 28 mg/L; E. coli: 528 MPN/100 mL).

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