Design recommendations for the use of domestic water treatment residuals to remove phosphorus from waste water

Ben Gersten

University of Cardiff, UK


This talk assesses how a novel process using dewatered water treatment works residuals (DWTR) could be engineered to maximize phosphorus removal from waste water treatment plant effluents while minimising system complexity and energy use.


An extensive yearlong experiment was operated at two sites to investigate how phosphorus removal rates varied over time in relation to DWTR type, phosphorus concentration, hydraulic retention time (HRT) and scale. DWTR from eight different water treatment works were used in 35 experimental models of dimensions 0.1Ø x 1m and two meso scale beds 1x1x0.8m.


An idealised adsorption system using DWTR as the media would operate with 2 to 3 beds in series with a minimum HRT of 6 hours and maximum particle size of 6mm and depth of 1m. Computer models of such a system predict >95% TP removal for over two years of operation.

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