Investigation of the effects of slow-release fertilizer and struvite in biodegradation in filter drains and potential application of treated water in irrigation of road verges
Filter drains are usually laid along the margins of highways. Highway runoffs are polluted with hydrocarbons and high levels of total dissolved solids. Therefore, effective pollution removal mechanism is necessary in order to avoid contamination of surrounding soils and groundwater. Biodegradation is amongst pollution removal mechanisms in filter drains, but it is a relatively slow process which is dependent on wide range of factors including the type of pollutant and availability of nutrients. This paper reports on a study conducted to investigate the impact of slow-release fertilizer and struvite in enhancement of biodegradation of hydrocarbon in filter drains. Filter drain models incorporated with geotextile were challenged with cumulative oil loading of 178 mg/m2/week with a view to comparing the efficiency of these two nutrient sources under high oil pollution loading and realistic rainfall conditions of 13 mm/week. Nutrients and street dust were applied at one-off rate of 17 g/m2 and 1.55 g/rig to provide nutrient enhancement and simulate field conditions respectively. The impact of the nutrients was studied by monitoring bacterial and fungal growth using nutrient agar, Rose Bengal Agar media and CO2 evolution. EC, pH, heavy metals, TPH, elemental analysis and SAR were used to investigate water quality of effluent of filter drains for potential application as irrigation fluid for trees and flowers planted on road verges. The results show that nutrient application encouraged microbial activities and enhanced biodegradation rates with differences in type of nutrient applied. Also, it was observed that incorporation of geotextiles in filter drains improved pollution retention efficiency and there is a potential opportunity for utilization of struvite in SuDS systems as sustainable nutrient source.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-0385-4
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