Reed bed sludge treatment
Dewatering and mineralization
Reed bed systems can be easily adapted for treating sludges as well as water borne pollutants. Sludge dewatering and mineralisation is achieved by applying sludge to the surface of specially designed vertical flow systems. The reeds absorb particularly high rates of water which they transpire into the air through their leaves. This process, in combination with an enhanced drainage function and the aerating action of the plants, results in an efficient low cost dewatering of the applied sludges. The dewatered sludge is incorporated into the micro-biologically active top layers of the root zone of reeds where it is mineralised and turned into soil. Depending on climate, sludge is usually de-watered to a dry matter content of 35 % and is reduced to a 5 % of its original applied volume over a longer period. Because of the extent of these volume reductions build up of mineralised sludge need only be removed every 10 years. This residue can be transformed into compost, and used for horticultural, agricultural or landscaping purposes without the need for incineration or Iandfill.
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