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Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Application of Biological Aerated Filters to Meet NPDES Ammonia Limits for Small Communities


Principal investigator:

Project status


Start date: 07/16/01
End date: 07/15/03


Sponsor(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

About the research

Abstract: In the state of Iowa, there are over 100 aerated lagoons that do not meet NPDES discharge limits for ammonia over the winter months. Similar problems are experienced by other states such as Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin with their aerated lagoon facilities. Various state agencies are studying alternative treatment technologies and, eventually, may require these facilities to comply with their discharge limits.

The objectives of this project are to investigate the application of biological aerated filters (BAFs) for nitrification at low temperatures and to provide a preliminary assessment of its feasibility for small communities to meet their NPDES limits. In addition, the objective to this study is to develop a single stage reactor containing both an anoxic and oxic zone for nutrient removal. BAFs is a compact system and can be used as an add-on to existing facilities or used as a secondary treatment at small community?s wastewater treatment facilities. BAF is a popular treatment system in Europe but rarely used in the US.