Environmental Technology
Volume 15, Issue 1, 1994, Pages 15-28  

Tertiary treatment of sewage effluent via pilot scale slow sand filtration

Farooq, S.Show author details, Al-Yousef, A.K.Show author details, Al-Layla, R.I.Show author details, Ishaq, A.M.Show author details Correspondence address

Department of Civil Engineering, King Fahd Univ of Petroleum Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia



In view of limited information available about the performance of actual size slow sand filtration as a tertiary process in sewage treatment a pilot scale study was conducted over a period of one year using the secondary treated effluent from North Aramco Wastewater Treatment Plant, Dhahran, at a flow rate of 0.16 m hr-1 (2L min-1) to determine the process efficiency. Two sizes of local sand, i.e., effective size (ES) = 0.31, uniformity coefficient (UC) = 2.00; and ES = 0.56, UC = 1.64, were evaluated in terms of removal of major pollution parameters such as organic matter, micro-organisms and nutrients. Effective range of the filter depth was also investigated by conducting the experiments at three different depths of the sand bed, i.e., 135, 105, and 55 cm for each size of the sand. It was found that removals of BOD, COD, standard plate counts, nitrate, phosphate and sulphate vary from 79-92%, 40-60%, 88-93%, 17-30%, 8.3-84%, and 5-10%, respectively, at various sand depths for two different sizes of the sand.