Use of Mine Fills for Biological Renovation of Domestic Wastewater
- C. E. Peterson,
- R. B. Reneau and
- C. Hagedorn *
Development of Appalachian coal mining regions has been severely hampered by lack of domestic waste disposal technologies suited to fills. This research was conducted to evaluate the potential for biological renovation of domestic wastewater in fills produced from mining operations. Soil-fill (a mixture of Jefferson, fine-loamy, siliceous, mesic Typic Hapludult and Muskingom, fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Dystrochrept soils) and spoil-fill (blasted rock material associated with the Taggart Marker and Low Splint Bench coal seams) were used in this study. Septic tank effluent (STE) and sand filter effluent (SFE) were applied to soilfill columns at four loading rates (0, 5.4, 10.8, and 21.6 L m−2 d−1) and spoil-fill columns at one loading rate (21.6 L m−2 d−1) for a period of 20 wk. Fecal coliform numbers were reduced by 89 to 99% after passing SFE and STE through the fill columns. Coliform counts in effluent from the soil- and spoil-fill columns were lower where SFE was applied as compared with STE. There were no significant differences between coliform counts in effluent from soil-fill and spoil-fill columns, although, there was a trend toward higher counts in effluent from the spoil-fill columns. When soil-fill columns were considered, coliforms were reduced more effectively (at the highest loading rate) in columns receiving SFE when compared with columns receiving STE. This study indicates that selected fills may be used when consideration is given to wastewater treatment and loading rate.
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