SREL Reprint #2846




Nutrient removal from farm effluents

N. S. Bolan1, L. Wong2, and D. C. Adriano3

1Soil and Earth Science Group, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University,
Palmerston North, New Zealand
2New Zealand Bark Resource Ltd., Wellington, New Zealand
3Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802, USA

Abstract: The objectives of the study were: (i) to examine the efficiency of nutrient removal during the treatment of dairy farm effluent in a two-pond system, and (ii) to produce an inexpensive but effective nutrient trap which could be recycled as a nutrient source or soil mulch. The concentration of chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in a two-pond system used to treat dairy farm effluent was monitored over a period of 7 months. The retention of nutrients by two porous materials was examined both in the laboratory batch (zeolite and bark) and pilot-scale field (bark) experiments. The results indicated that biological treatment of farm effluents using the two-pond system was not effective in the removal of nutrients, which are likely to become pollutant when discharged to waterways. Both the bark and zeolite materials were effective in the removal of N, P, and K from effluent. These materials can be placed in the second (i.e., aerobic) pond to treat effluents, which can then be discharged to streams with minimum impact on water quality. The nutrient-enriched porous materials can be recycled as a source of nutrients and soil conditioner.

Keywords: Bark; BOD; COD; Farm efiluent; Nutrients; Suspended solid; Pond treatment; Zeolite

SREL Reprint #2846

Bolan, N. S., L. Wong, and D. C. Adriano. 2004. Nutrient removal from farm effluents. Bioresource Technology 94:251-260.

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