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Improving sanitation systems and treatment technologies that allow for safe discharge into agricultural drains and unrestricted irrigation, must be through solutions that requires reduced environmental impact, lower capital cost and simplified operational procedures for wide application in secluded and rural communities with small populations.
This research work is primarily an investigation of the optimum slow sand filter design configurations, for refining the produced effluent quality of the partially treated wastewater to allow for the reuse in the unrestricted irrigation and decrease the load on the surrounding water bodies. Experimental work has been carried on by the variation of design parameters, and correlating with the effluent quality in terms of pollutants removal efficiencies and effluent passage, locating the optimum variables thereafter.
The work has been done on two phases, the first is aimed to locate the optimum design variables for the slow sand filter, in terms of effective size of the sand media, infiltration rate and filtration depth. where the second phase is aimed to test two low-cost locally-available filter packing material to be mixed with the previously chosen sand media, to serve as an indicator for future studies and research.
It has been observed that the optimum design parameters for the slow sand filtration (SSF) unit that follows the decentralized wastewater treatment compact units, is utilizing sand media with effective size (D10) = 0.8~1.2 mm, Infiltration rate of 2.68 m3/m2/d & filtration depth of 90 cm, will result in pollutants removal efficiency of 63%, 59% & 76% for CODtot, CODsol & TSS concentrations respectively. It has also noticed that when mixing the sand media with a sponge packing material from polyurethane foam, will yield a removal efficiency more than the one resulted from the sand media alone.
Key words: Wastewater treatment, decentralized systems, compact units, rural communities, slow sand filter, packing material.