Shallow Intermittent Sand Filtration: Design Optimization and Effluent Characterization for Reuse

EPA Grant Number: U915244
Title: Shallow Intermittent Sand Filtration: Design Optimization and Effluent Characterization for Reuse
Investigators: Ruppe, Loretta M.
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: January 1, 1997 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Civil/Environmental Engineering


The objective of this research project is to optimize the critical design parameters of media, dosing frequency, and media depth for intermittent sand filters (ISFs) for the treatment of residential wastewater. The improvement of these filters will lead to lower costs of construction and operation and reduce space requirements, thereby improving the feasibility of ISFs as an option to treat domestic wastewater on a small scale. Characterization of the effluent from these systems will enable informed decisions about beneficial reuse.


In the first stage of research, filter media will be evaluated for nutrient and virus removal. Laboratory-scale systems will be constructed, and a variety of filter media will be tested for nutrient and virus removal. The filter media under consideration for testing include activated carbon, sintered glass rings, diatomaceous earthen cylinders, lava rock, pumice, crushed glass, and sand. After the relative performance of each type of media has been evaluated, additional experiments will be performed using the most promising media to determine optimal dosing frequency and filter depth for nutrient and virus removal. The relationship between media depth and dosing frequency also will be investigated. Field verification of significant findings using full-scale systems at a wastewater treatment plant will be conducted in the second stage of this study. In the third stage, the effluent from filters incorporating the optimized design parameters will be evaluated for reuse applications according to the proposed California water recycling criteria and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for water reuse. It is anticipated that removal of all Escherichia coli on a consistent basis will require additional disinfection; effluent will be characterized for disinfection requirements.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, intermittent sand filters, ISF, nutrient and virus removal, wastewater treatment plant, sand filtration, effluent, wastewater.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998
  • Final