Michał Łopata, Przemysław Czerniejewski, Grzegorz Wiśniewski, Robert Czerniawski and Jakub Drozdowski
The paper presents a proposal for the treatment of river water based on expanded clay (ceramsite). It is a lightweight mineral aggregate containing components relative to phosphorus adsorption (calcium, iron, manganese, aluminum). A pilot plant on a fractional technical scale was built on a nutrient rich (phosphorus up to 0.4 mg dm−3, nitrogen up to 10.0 mg dm−3), small (mean annual flow about 0.04 m3 s−1), natural watercourse (Młynówka River, a tributary of the Otok Channel, Noteć basin, the municipality of Strzelce Krajeńskie). The monitoring included quantitative and qualitative measurements of the water stream in 2014-2015. On the basis of the examinations, the calculated effectiveness of ceramsite filters in removing major contaminants from water was: for total nitrogen 5-6%, phosphorus 12-16%, and for suspensions 17-29%. The effectiveness of the treatment is highly influenced by hydraulic load, so this type application on a full-scale should occupy a sufficiently large volume. Taking into account simplicity of performance, ease of operation and low cost of construction and maintenance, such pretreatment plants based on expanded clay would seem to be a promising tool for the protection of surface waters in catchments of small rivers and streams.