Analysis of the impacts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium supplementation on biofilter performance for organic carbon removal was studied on laboratory-scale biofilter columns. Three dual media biofilter columns were fed with synthetic raw water C:N:P ratios of 546:24:1, 100:10:1, and 25:5:1 (w/w) to simulate nutrient limited and two nutrient supplemented conditions, respectively. Research found that air-scour versus water only backwash improved the nutrient limited dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal by 8%. In addition, nutrient supplementation and backwash alteration improved DOC removals by 19% for the 25:5:1 column and 14% for the 100:10:1 column. Potassium supplementation with the 25:5:1 C:N:P ratio column had no discernible effect on DOC removal. No correlation with phospholipid (7-474 nmol P/g media) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (0.6×105-32.74×105 pg ATP/g media) values with DOC removal were found. Nutrient availability was found to influence DOC removal, demonstrating its importance when utilizing biofiltration for treatment of source waters.

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Keywords Biofiltration, Nitrogen, Nutrient ratio, Phospholipid analysis, Phosphorus, Potassium
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Series Water Science and Technology: Water Supply
Dhawan, S. (Sahil), Basu, O, & Banihashemi, B. (Bahman). (2017). Influence of nutrient supplementation on DOC removal in drinking water biofilters. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply. doi:10.2166/ws.2016.146