Reclaimed water has been widely used to restore rivers and lakes in water scarce areas as well as in Beijing municipality, China. However, refilling the rivers with reclaimed water may result in groundwater pollution. A three-year field monitoring program was conducted to assess the effect of a riverbank filtration (RBF) system on the removal of nitrogen and organics from the Qingyang River of Beijing, which is replenished with reclaimed water. Water samples from the river, sediment, and groundwater were collected for NO3
-N, and chemical oxygen demand (COD) was measured. The results indicate that about 85% of NO3
-N was removed from the riverbed sediments. Approximate 92% of NH4
-N was removed during the infiltration of water from river to aquifer. On average, 54% of COD was removed by RBF. The attenuation of NO3
-N through RBF to the groundwater varied among seasons and was strongly related to water temperature. On the other hand, no obvious temporal variability was identified in the removal of COD. These results suggest that the RBF system is an effective barrier against NO3
-N and COD in the Qingyang River, as well as those rivers with similar geological and climatic conditions refilled with reclaimed water.
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