Evaluation of copper removal from stormwater runoff using compost and Apatite II™ Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zg64tp32n

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  • Low concentrations of dissolved copper have proven to be harmful to a number of aquatic organisms, with recent research highlighting detrimental effects to endangered salmonid species. Stormwater runoff can represent a significant source of copper to surface waters, necessitating cost-effective alternatives to current stormwater best management practices (BMPs). This study examines the potential efficacy of copper removal from stormwater runoff using compost, a current choice in many stormwater BMPs, and Apatite II™, a biogenically derived hydroxy calcium phosphate mineral. Batch, column, and field experiments were performed to assess the equilibrium and continuous copper removal capacity of Apatite II™ and compost, as well as to characterize the effect of natural organic matter (NOM) on removal processes. In both equilibrium and continuous flow scenarios, compost and Apatite II™ each exhibited high copper removal efficiency in synthetic stormwater solutions. The introduction of NOM inhibited copper removal for both media types due to Cu-NOM complexation, but removal efficiency remained relatively high. In field experiments where composite influent and effluent samples were taken for each runoff event, copper removal was less consistent and efficiencies were much lower than in laboratory experiments. However, effluent dissolved copper is thought to be comprised entirely of Cu-NOM complexes, indicating that the filter was effective at removing the more bioavailable forms of dissolved copper. Phosphate and nitrate leaching was an issue for compost, and phosphate leaching and release of previously removed copper is a concern for Apatite II™. Due to these issues and superior performance by compost in laboratory testing, compost is viewed as the more promising adsorbent. However, additional monitoring of the potential for nutrient leaching should be performed before wide-scale application.
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