Methods for Removing Phosphates from Water: Importance for Water Quality and Ecosystem Health

Phosphates are chemical substances made up of elements of phosphorus and oxygen. Phosphates are considered water pollutants when present in high quantity, notably from fertilisers, animal waste, and sewage. Excess phosphate can harm aquatic life. To protect water quality and promote healthy ecosystems, it's important to remove phosphates from water bodies. There are several methods available for removing excess phosphates from water, including biological, chemical, and physical methods. The choice of method will depend on factors such as the concentration of phosphates, the budget, and resources available.

Biological phosphate removal is an environmentally friendly method of removing phosphates from water. In this process, phosphates are converted by microorganisms into less toxic forms such as phosphorus minerals. Biological phosphorus removal is a natural process that occurs in wetlands, rivers, and estuaries. Wetlands, biofilters, and activated sludge systems are all examples of systems that can speed up the biological phosphorus removal process and thus improve phosphate removal from water. Typically, these systems consist of a bed of organic matter containing bacteria that convert phosphates into less harmful forms. Biological phosphate removal is a low-cost, long-term method of removing phosphates from water bodies.

Chemical phosphate removal is another method for removing phosphates from water. In this method, phosphates are removed from water using chemicals such as aluminium or iron salts. These chemicals solidify and can be removed when mixed with water. Although chemical phosphate removal can be effective, it can also have negative environmental consequences, such as the release of toxic metals into the air. It is critical to use chemicals as little as possible while also protecting the environment and people's health.

Physical methods, such as sedimentation, can also be used to remove phosphates from water. This method is frequently combined with biological or chemical phosphate removal methods. Phosphates in water can be removed by allowing it to settle, which allows heavier phosphorus particles to sink to the bottom of a body of water.

At Graf UK, we offer all three methods for removing excess phosphates from wastewater. Our One2Clean SBR system is capable of achieving an efficiency of 80.20% for total phosphate removal, resulting in an effluent with only 1.6mg/l of phosphate. For even greater efficiency, our One2Clean +P system is specifically designed for phosphate removal and includes a dosing package with a precipitant to enhance the removal efficiency. This system can remove up to 95.1% of total phosphates, resulting in an effluent with only 0.4mg/l of phosphate.

In addition, our wastewater treatment systems also include a physical method for phosphate removal, through the sedimentation phase which is present in all of our treatment plants. This allows for the efficient removal of heavier phosphorus particles from wastewater.

By removing excess phosphates from water, we can help to address nutrient neutrality and reduce the negative impacts of nutrient pollution on the environment. With our experience in supplying and installing nutrient removal systems, Graf UK can help organizations meet regulatory requirements and protect the health and sustainability of aquatic ecosystems.