The choice of management practices for the treatment of piggery effluent prior to its disposal to waterways or land is governed by the desire to simultaneously minimise the cost of treatment whilst minimising pollution of the environment. Laboratory experiments were conducted to compare the removal of total and total filterable phosphorus (P) (μm) from ortho-phosphate solutions or piggery effluent by hydrated lime or lime kiln dust alone, or from recycled piggery effluent by lime and physico-chemical treatment methods. In addition, the ability of lime to remove P from recycled piggery effluent at an intensive piggery was assessed.
Most P in lime treated effluent was present in the >·45 μm fraction because of the presence of unsettled flocs of P impregnated lime. The efficiency of total P removal by hydrated lime and lime kiln dust decreased as effluent quality declined. The efficiency of removal of total filterable P by hydrated lime or lime kiln dust was not affected by effluent quality. Hydrated lime was more efficient in removing P from effluent or ortho-phosphate solutions, but lime kiln dust was more cost effective. More than 95% of total P was removed from recycled piggery effluent when physico-chemical treatment followed settling with or without lime. The physico-chemical treatment decreased total P mainly by decreasing the number of suspended particles in the effluent and by precipitating some total filterable P as iron, aluminium or calcium compounds.
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