Long-term nitrogen behavior under treated wastewater infiltration basins in a soil-aquifer treatment (SAT) system

Omer Mienis, Gilboa Arye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The long term behavior of total nitrogen and its components was investigated in a soil aquifer treatment system of the Dan Region Reclamation Project (Shafdan), Tel-Aviv, Israel. Use is made of the previous 40 years' secondary data for the main nitrogen components (ammonium, nitrate and organic nitrogen) in recharged effluent and observation wells located inside an infiltration basin. The wells were drilled to 106 and 67 m, both in a similar position within the basin. The transport characteristics of each nitrogen component were evaluated based on chloride travel-time, calculated by a cross-correlation between its concentration in the recharge effluent and the observation wells. Changes in the source of recharge effluent, wastewater treatment technology and recharge regime were found to be the main factors affecting turnover in total nitrogen and its components. During aerobic operation of the infiltration basins, most organic nitrogen and ammonium will be converted to nitrate. Total nitrogen removal in the upper part of the aquifer was found to be 47–63% by denitrification and absorption, and overall removal, including the lower part of the aquifer, was 49–83%. To maintain the aerobic operation of the infiltration fields, the total nitrogen load should remain below 10 mg/L. Above this limit, ammonium and organic nitrogen will be displaced into the aquifer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-199
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - 1 May 2018


  • Infiltration basin
  • Nitrogen
  • Soil aquifer treatment
  • Treated wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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