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Improving phosphate removal of sand infiltration system using alkaline fly ash

Cheung, K.C. and Venkitachalam, H. (2000) Improving phosphate removal of sand infiltration system using alkaline fly ash. Chemosphere, 41 (1-2). pp. 243-249.

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Septic tank effluent is customarily disposed of by soil infiltration. Coarse, sandy soil such as those found in Perth, Western Australia, exhibit low attenuation capabilities for phosphate (PO43−) during effluent infiltration. Amendment of such soil with different amounts of alkaline precipitator and lagoon fly ashes was investigated as a means of reducing phosphorus (P) leakage to ground water. Alkaline precipitator fly ash possessed the highest P sorption capacity in terms of its Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm parameters during initial batch tests. The test materials were repeatedly contacted with fresh PO43− solutions over 90 contacting cycles to gain a better indication of long-term P sorption capability. Again, precipitator fly ash exhibited higher P sorption capacity than lagoon fly ash and Spearwood sand. Column studies assessed the influence of various application rates of alkaline precipitator and lagoon fly ashes on the P removal of septic tank effluent. Septic tank effluent was applied at the rate of 4 cm/day to the column for 12 weeks. Concentrations of P were monitored in the column effluent. All the fly ash columns were more efficient in reducing P migration compared to the sand column. Increased levels of fly ash in the soil columns resulted in increased P attenuation. Lagoon fly ash was inferior to precipitator fly ash for P removal; high application rates of fly ash caused clogging of the infiltration bed apparently due to their lower permeability. It is reasoned that 5–15% precipitator fly ash, and less than 30% lagoon fly ash could be added to coarse sands to produce an infiltration bed, which would result in a better quality effluent than can be obtained with untreated sand alone.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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