Wastewater appliedto the sand filtershould be pretreated,such as in aseptic tank
Recirculating intermittent sandfilter,
which filters wastewater bymixing filtrate with incomingseptic tank effluent and recircu-lating it several times through thefilter media before discharging itto a final land application system.This filter’s components aresimilar to the intermittent sandfilter components.Sand filters can be free access(open to the surface) or buried in theground (buried filters). Free accesssand filters are generally aboveground and usually have a lid thateases access to the sand system.Landscape design helps the systemblend into its surroundings. A buriedsand filter is completely covered andeasily blends into the landscape.
A sand filter purifies the water inthree ways:
Filtration, in which particles arephysically strained from theincoming wastewater;
Chemical sorption, in whichcontaminants stick to the surfaceof the sand and to the biologicalgrowth on the sand surface; and
Assimilation, in which aerobicmicrobes eat the nutrients in thewastewater. The success of treating wastewater depends onthese microbes. Air must beavailable for these microbes tolive.Sand filters are often partially orcompletely buried in the ground, butmay be built above ground wherethere is a high water table or bedrock.Especially in areas with much rainand long periods of subfreezingtemperatures, the sand filter shouldhave some form of cover.Wastewater applied to the sandfilter should be pretreated, such as ina septic tank. The effluent from theseptic tank is then distributed uni-formly on the sand surface.To distribute the wastewater, adosing siphon can be used with splashplates. Another approach is to pumpthe effluent under low-pressure,controlled doses through a network of small-diameter pipes. The pipes areplaced in a bed filled with gravel ontop of the sand. The effluent leavesthe pipes, trickles down through thegravel and is treated as it filtersthrough the sand.A gravel under-drain collects andmoves the treated wastewater to eithera second pump chamber for dischargeto a pressurized distribution system orto a gravity flow soil absorption field.The second pump chamber may belocated in the sand filter.
The typical sand filter is aconcrete- or PVC-lined box filledwith a specific sand material. Themedia depth ranges from 24 to 42inches.It’s important that the sandparticles all be about the same size. If the grain sizes vary greatly, thesmaller ones will fill in the spacesbetween the larger particles, making iteasier for the system to clog.The larger the grain size, thefaster the wastewater moves throughthe sand and the more wastewater thatcan be filtered. Small media slow thewater movement and increase thechance of clogging. The grain sizealso affects how deep the solidparticles penetrate the filter and howclean the final effluent is.