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UASB followed by Sub-Surface Horizontal Flow Phytodepuration for the Treatment of the Sewage Generated by a Small Rural Community

by 1,*,†, 2,† and 3,†
1
School of Industrial Engineering, University Carlo Cattaneo-LIUC, Corso Matteotti, 22, I–21053 Castellanza Varese, Italy
2
Department of Civil Engineering and Computer Science Engineering, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Via Politecnico 1, I-00133 Roma, Italy
3
Department of Biotechnologies and Life Sciences, University of Insubria, Via G.B. Vico 46, I-21100 Varese, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2014, 6(10), 6998-7012; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6106998
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 29 September 2014 / Accepted: 1 October 2014 / Published: 9 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: UASB reactor; constructed wetlands; sub-surface phytodepuration; sewage treatment; rural community UASB reactor; constructed wetlands; sub-surface phytodepuration; sewage treatment; rural community
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Raboni, M.; Gavasci, R.; Urbini, G. UASB followed by Sub-Surface Horizontal Flow Phytodepuration for the Treatment of the Sewage Generated by a Small Rural Community. Sustainability 2014, 6, 6998-7012.

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