1Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran.
2Department of Microbiology, School of Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
Nitrogen in treatment plants effluent causing problems such as oxygen depletion, toxic impacts on aquatic organisms, eutrophication, and negative impacts on public health. The aim of present study was to determine the performance of integrated system activated sludge/nitrifying trickling filter to improve nitrification in the wastewater treatment plant of Isfahan. In this applied experimental study, an integrated activated sludge (AS) process (in full scale) was used with a trickling filter (TF) (in semi-industrial scale). The diameter and height of TF were 1.8 m and 3 m of steel, respectively. The volume of polypropylene media was 8 m3 and surface area of 240 m2/m3. The hydraulic loading rate during the startup period was 2.4 m3/h which was raised to 7.2 m3/h in the operation period. Flow rate, BOD5, COD, pH, TKN, N-NH3, N-NO2-, N-NO3-, alkalinity and temperature were measured weekly according to standard methods during the operation period. The effect of filter depth on nitrification was studied in 3.6, 4.2, 5.4 and 6 m and HRT of 3.6 m/h. The samples were analyzed by SPSS. The results showed that the best hydraulic and ammonia loading rate achieved here were 3.6-4.2 m/h and 2-2.5 g N/m2d, respectively. The AS/TF system efficiency were 86 % COD removal, 94 % BOD5 removal, 70 % turbidity removal, 94.4 % TSS removal, 55.5-75.5 % TKN removal and 85 % nitrification, respectively. The highest efficiency to reduce of wastewater pollution and nitrification was occurred in depth 4.5 m. Integration of the activated sludge and trickling filter processes, especially in old wastewater treatment plants is a good way to reduce the amounts of nitrogen in treatment plants effluent.