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Phosphorus in soil treatment systems: accumulation and mobility
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Geochemistry and Ecotechnology. KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. JTI - Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Sweden .
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Geochemistry and Ecotechnology. KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8771-7941
JTI,Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering.
Center for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC), Lund University.
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2014 (English)In: Water Research, ISSN 0043-1354, E-ISSN 1879-2448, Vol. 64, 42-52 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In several western countries, septic tanks with subsequent soil treatment systems (STS) are a common treatment technique for domestic wastewater in rural areas. However the suitability of STS (especially relatively close to surface waters) can be questioned since the discharge of phosphorus (P) from such effluents is not well known. In this study, six STS in Sweden (11 to 28 years old) were investigated by means of batch and column experiments on samples taken from the unsaturated subsoil beneath the distribution pipes. At all sites the wastewater had clearly influenced the soil. This was observed through decreased pH, increased amounts of oxalate extractable metals and altered P sorption properties. The amount of accumulated P in the STS (defined as the amount of total P in the STS samples minus the amount of total P in unused soil samples) were found to be between 0.32 and 0.87 kg m-3, which in most cases was just a small fraction of the estimated P load (< 30%). Column studies revealed that remarkably high P concentrations (up to 6 mg L-1) were leached from the material when deionized water was applied. However, the response to deionized water varied between the sites. The affinity for P in the soils was well correlated to the amount of oxalate-extractable aluminium (as evidenced by a strong relationship between oxalate-extractable Al and oxalate-extractable P) and generally soils with high content of oxalate extractable Al was also less vulnerable to P leakage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 64, 42-52 p.
Keyword [en]
onsite wastewater treatment, Soil treatment system, Septic system, Phosphorus leakage, Column studies, Removal mechanisms
National Category
Geochemistry Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-121047DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.06.034ISI: 000341348500005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84904362663OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-121047DiVA: diva2:616560
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2006-632
Note

Updated from manuscript to article.

QC 20141003

Available from: 2013-04-17 Created: 2013-04-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sustainable phosphorus removal in onsite wastewater treatment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable phosphorus removal in onsite wastewater treatment
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aquatic eutrophication is a serious environmental problem that occurs all over the world. To protect surface waters (in particular the Baltic Sea), the regulatory pressure on onsite wastewater treatment (OWT) systems have increased in Sweden. Stringent requirements have led to uncertainties regarding the capability of conventional treatment techniques (soil treatment systems (STS)) to remove phosphorus (P), but they have also stimulated the development and introduction of enhanced P treatment techniques. In this thesis the accumulation and mobility of P as well as the chemical P removal mechanisms were studied in soils and reactive filter media. This knowledge was then used in environmental systems analysis. A model based on life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology was developed to evaluate the overall environmental performance of conventional and enhanced P treatment systems under various local conditions. The P accumulation in the studied STS varied (320-870 g m-3) and the accumulated P was rather mobile in some soils. Phosphorus compounds were identified in alkaline reactive filter media (calcium phosphates predominated) by means of X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES). In sandy soils from STS aluminium was found to be a key element for P removal, as evidenced by a strong relationship between oxalate-extractable P and Al. The LCA studies indicated that enhanced P treatment systems may be beneficial from an eutrophication and P recycling perspective but causes increased impacts in terms of global warming and acidification. Despite the drawbacks, enhanced P treatment techniques should be considered suitable substitutes to surface water discharge STS under most conditions. This is because the latter systems have such a strong eutrophication impact. On the other hand, under appropriate conditions, STS with groundwater discharge may be advantageous. These systems generally caused low environmental impacts except for the dispersion of P resources. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. xii, 34 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1070
Keyword
Onsite wastewater treatment, Soil treatment system, Phosphorus, Removal mechanisms, Environmental impacts, Life cycle assessment
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-121049 (URN)978-91-7501-730-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-13, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

QC 20130419

Available from: 2013-04-19 Created: 2013-04-17 Last updated: 2013-04-19Bibliographically approved

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Gustafsson, Jon Petter

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