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Trickling Filters

• Trickling flters are artifcial beds of crushed stones or other porous media
through which the settled sewage is allowed to percolate.
• It is widely used for biological treatment of wastewater in order to remove
organic matter
• The liquid waste is applied intermittently over the top surface of the flters
by means of a distributor. Filtered liquid is collected at the bottom through
flter box and under drain system
Typical complete Trickling flter
• Filtering Media:
 Filter Material !rushed stones" brick khoa" etc.
 #epth of fltering media Minimum of $ft." Maximum of %&ft" average
depth is ' ft.
 (article )i*e ranges from % + ,inch in diameter.
 Materials are carefully selected for their special shape.
• Under drain system
 It is a network of tiny channels which rapidly discharge their -ow into the
main collection channel which normally runs along the middle of the flter.
 (rovided for ventilation of the flter to maintain aerobic conditions
 .ormally vitrify clay/block or porous brick construction.
• Final sedimentation tank is an integral part of the trickling flter.
• The function of this tank is to remove the large masses of biological
growth which -ow with the e0uent from the flter media.
Trickling Filter: General Layout
Organic Matter Removal
• 1emoval of organic matter isn2t accomplished through fltering action
• The liquid waste is brought into contact with air and with biological
growth.
• 3rganic removal is the result of an adsorption process which occurs at the
surface of the biological flm covering the fltering media.
• )ubsequent to their adsorption" the organic matter is utili*ed by the
bacterial slimes for growth and energy.
• 4rtifcial plastic media is used to provide more surface area for the growth
of micro organism for higher e5ciency.
• 4s the liquid -ows over the flter media it comes in contact of microbial
layer which builds up on flter media.
Trickling Filter: Organic Removal
• In e6ect" the -owing liquid transfer its organic load to the bound water
layer by dilution with the most rapid transfer occuring when the incoming
organic concentration is high and the bound water concentration is
minimum.
• In flter will continue to remove organic matter only as long as
microorganisms reduce the organic concentration in the bound water
layer between application of sewage.
• Top layer of microorganisms are stimulated to active metabolism by the
high organic concentration as the fresh sewage -ow past.
• (ortion of the organic matter is converted into new cells while an
equivalent portion is oxidi*ed to furnish the energy for synthesis.
• 1emoval of organic matter is the function of
 Microorganism presents
 3rganic concentration applied
 )tone si*e or microbial surface area
 Time of retention of liquid in the flter
 Temperature
Sloughing
• The organic material present in the waste water is degraded by a number
of microorganisms attached to the flter media.
• 3rganic matter from the liquid is absorbed onto the biological flm or
slime layer.
• In the outer portion of the biological slime layer 7&.% to &.8mm9 the
organic matter is degraded by aerobic microorganisms.
• 4s the micro/organisms grow" the thickness of the slime layer increases"
and the di6used oxygen is consumed before it can penetrate to the full
depth of the slime layer" thus an aerobic condition is established near the
surface of the media.
• 4s the slime layer increases in thickness" the absorbed organic matter is
metaboli*ed before it can reach the microorganisms near the media
surface.
• 4s a result of having no external organic source available for cell carbon"
the micro/organisms near the media face enter into an endogenous phase
of growth and lose their ability to cling to the media surface.
• The liquid then washes the slime o6 the medium and a new slime layer
starts to grow. This phenomenon of losing the slime layer is called
sloughing.
Microorganisms
• Trickling flter is considered as facultative system
• 4t the beginning the process is aerobic.
• The microorganisms create an anaerobic layer at the stone interface
which is essential to the flter operation as the aerobic activity occur at
the upper microbial surface.
• (redominant microorganisms are
 :acteria anaerobic" facultative" aerobic
 Fungi aerobic 7live where #3 exists9
 4lgae ;ive at the upper surface of the fltering media. It does not
contribute to the overall stabili*ation of the sewage.
 <igher animals =orm" snail" insect larvae
o ;ive at the upper aerobic area
o Feed on microorganisms
o #o not contribute to the fltering action
Recirculation
1ecirculation is the return of a portion of the treated or partially treated
sewage to the treatment process. >sually the return is from the e0uent
of the 8
nd
clarifcation to the in-uent of the primary clarifer. The e0uent
from the fnal clarifer may also be re/circulated to dilute the in-uent to
the flter.
Main purposes of recirculation:
• It provides longer contact time in the flter and the load is reduced
since the sewage is diluted
• The rate of -ow through flters can be kept constant by varying the
amount of sewage that is re/circulated
• The e0uent quality is much improved
• The seeding of flters is done continuously with active organisms and
en*ymes
• 1ecirculation
• It removes worn out flms and reduce the flm thickness
• It improves the flter e5ciency
• 1ecirculation 1atio" 1 represent the volume of recirculated sewage
-ow to the raw sewage -ow.
 Design Consideration or T!F!
• !omposition and characteristics of waste material
• 3rganic and hydraulic loading to be applied on the flter
• (retreatment by sedimentation
• 1ecirculation ratio and system
• Filter beds volume" area" and depth
• 4eration
• Temperature
– )ince the treatment of sewage is primarily a biochemical process" the ?/
day" 8&@! A :3# determination is the principle yardstick used to
measure both the characteristics of the applied organic load and the
quality of the fnal e0uent.
 "ckenelder#s ormula
• #eveloped an e5ciency formulation.
• 4pplicable to the design of stone flters.

<ere"
;
e
B :3# concentration in flter e0uent
;
f
B :3# concentration applied to the flter.
#B depth of flter.
CB hydraulic loading" million gal per acre per day. 7mgad9
Due to recirculation:
• =hen recirculation is used" the in-uent :3# is diluted by the
recirculated -ow.
• The applied :3# including recirculation can be calculated as
TF
TF
L
e
L
i
L
f
R
=here"
• ;
i
B in-uent sewage :3#.
• 1B recirculation ratio
• ;
f
B :3# after admixture with recirculated -ow" or :3#
concentration applied to the flter.
• Filter performance can be estimated by combining above two equationsD
• E6ect of temperature
• The :3# removal on trickling flter is a6ected by climatic condition in the
same way that other biological processes are a6ected by temperature.
• Temperature e6ect to the flter performance con be shown by a
relationship
• E6ect of temperature

E
T
B E
8&
%.&$?
7T/8&9
• =here"

E
T
B:3# removal e5ciency at temperature T@!.

E
8&
B:3# removal e5ciency at 8&@!.
$ational Research Council ormulas
• National Research Council (NRC formulas. The .1! formulas have
resulted from extensive analysis of operational records from stone/
media trickling flter plants. .1! developed the following formulas for
predicting the stone/media trickling flter performance at 8&F!.