Nitrogen Transformations in Land Treatment

by Francis A. DiGiano, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.,
Yi-Siung Su, Environmental Engr.; United Engrs., Boston, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 6, Pg. 1075-1087

Document Type: Journal Paper


The storage lagoon of a land treatment system functions as a dynamic biological reactor in which algae and bacteria can transform input nitrogen. A quantitative estimate of these nitrogen transformations is needed for proper design of the spray irrigation component of land treatment. In this study, a simulation model was developed to predict the concentrations of inorganic and organic nitrogen and algae in the lagoon throughout the winter storage and irrigation months; pilot plant data were used for verification. Both the predicted and observed results indicated a large reduction in inorganic nitrogen caused by algal uptake during most of the irrigation period. The model was then applied to achieve a better balance between nitrogen supplied by the lagoon and crop demand throughout the growing season.

Subject Headings: Lagoons | Irrigation | Nitrogen | Soil treatment | Vegetation | Biological processes | Waste treatment | Bacteria

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