Where soils are unsuitable for traditional filter fields, a sand filter may be used to renovate septic effluent. The objective of this study was to evaluate the renovation of chemical and biological components of septic tank effluent in a newly constructed stratified sand filter. The sand filter consisted of three layers of sand that decreased in coarseness with depth. The sand filter inflow NH4-N levels increased for 25 d with a mean level of 43 mg/L during the 864-d study. The outflow NO3-N con-centrations stabilized at 32 mg/L from 25 to 510 d. Inflow P reached a steady-state concentration of 16 mg/L while outflow P was <0.2 mg/L until 25 d. Thereafter, P outflow concentrations increased and had a mean value of 10 mg/L. Fecal coliform removal averaged 99.97% during the first 51 d. The stratified sand filter may provide an alternative wastewater disposal system for many locations.
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