UASB followed by Sub-Surface Horizontal Flow Phytodepuration for the Treatment of the Sewage Generated by a Small Rural Community
Published: 09 October 2014 by MDPI in Sustainability
MDPI, Volume 6; 10.3390/su6106998
Abstract: The paper presents the results of an experimental process designed for the treatment of the sewage generated by a rural community located in the north-east of Brazil. The process consists of a preliminary mechanical treatment adopting coarse screens and grit traps, followed by a biological treatment in a UASB reactor and a sub-surface horizontal flow phytodepuration step. The use of a UASB reactor equipped with a top cover, as well as of the phytodepuration process employing a porous medium, showed to present important health advantages. In particular, there were no significant odor emissions and there was no evidence of the proliferation of insects and other disease vectors. The plant achieved the following mean abatement efficiencies: 92.9% for BOD₅, 79.2% for COD and 94% for Suspended Solids. With regard to fecal indicators average efficiencies of 98.8% for fecal coliforms and 97.9% for fecal enterococci were achieved. The UASB reactor showed an important role in achieving this result. The research was also aimed at evaluating the optimal operating conditions for the UASB reactor in terms of hydraulic load and organic volumetric loading. The achieved results hence indicated that the process may be highly effective for small rural communities in tropical and sub-tropical areas.
Keywords: rural community, Constructed wetlands, sewage treatment, UASB reactor, sub-surface phytodepuration