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Characterising Recycled Organic and Mineral Materials for Use as Filter Media in Biofiltration Systems

1
School of Environmental & Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
2
School of Environmental & Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Singapore 038986, Singapore
3
Center for Organic Research & Education (CORE), North Sydney, NSW 2060, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(5), 1074; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11051074
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract

Filter media (FM) sourced from recycled organic and mineral materials offer an effective and low cost means of treating urban stormwater. Using recycled materials rather than the increasingly scarce source of virgin materials (typically sandy loam soil) can ensure a sustainable and long-term economy and environment. This paper presents the results from the laboratory analysis and mathematical modelling to highlight the performance of recycled organic and mineral materials in removing nutrients and metals from stormwater. The analysis included the physical and chemical characterisation of particle size distribution, saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat), bulk density, effective cation exchange capacity, and pollutant removal performance. The design mixes (DM), comprising a combination of organic and mineral materials, were characterised and used to develop/derive the modelling design within the Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation (MUSIC v6). Comparison is made to the Adoption Guidelines for Stormwater Biofiltration Systems—Summary Report which were based on the Facility for Advancing Water Biofiltration (FAWB) guidelines to assist in the development of biofiltration systems, including the planning, design, construction, and operation of those systems. An observed outcome from over two decades of biofiltration guideline development has been the exclusion of alternative biofilter materials due to claims of excessive leaching. Results from this study indicate that high nutrient and metal removal rates can be achieved over a range of hydraulic conductivities using design mixes of recycled organic and mineral materials that have a demonstrated equivalence to existing guideline specifications. View Full-Text
Keywords: compost; nutrient leaching; pollutant removal; stormwater quality; system modelling compost; nutrient leaching; pollutant removal; stormwater quality; system modelling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Lucas, S.A.; CC Lee, C.; Love, E. Characterising Recycled Organic and Mineral Materials for Use as Filter Media in Biofiltration Systems. Water 2019, 11, 1074.

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