retention pond, temperature, nutrients, nitrate, orthophosphate, kinetics, reaction rates, sawdust, limestone, tire crumb, sand


In recent years the nutrient levels of the Upper Floridan aquifer have been increasing (USGS, 2008). An example of this is found in Ocala, Florida where Silver Springs nitrate concentrations have risen from 0.5 mg/L in the 1960 s to approximately 1.0 mg/L in 2003 (Phelps, 2004). Because stormwater is a contributor to surficial and groundwater aquifer recharge, there is an increasing need for methods that decrease nitrogen and phosphorus levels. A laboratory column study was conducted to simulate a retention pond with saturated soil conditions. The objectives of the column studies reported in this thesis were to investigate the capabilities of a natural soil and soil augmentations to remove nitrogen and phosphorus for a range of concentrations at three different temperatures. An analytical attempt to model the columns through low order reaction kinetics and derive the corresponding temperature conversion constant to relate the rate constants is also presented. The Media Mixes were selected through a process of research, preliminary batch testing and then implemented in column studies. Three columns measuring three feet in length and 6 inches outer diameter were packed with a control and two media mixes. Media Mix 1 consisted of 50% fine sand, 30% tire crumb, 20% sawdust by weight and Media Mix 2 consisted of 50% fine sand, 25% sawdust, 15% tire crumb, 10% limestone by weight. The control column was packed with natural soil from Hunter s Trace retention pond located in Ocala, Florida. The reaction rates for nitrate are best modeled as first order for Media Mix 1, and zero order for the Control and Media Mix 2. The reaction rates for orthophosphate are best modeled as zero order, second order and first order for the Control, Media Mix 1, and Media Mix 2 respectively. The best overall media for both nitrate and orthophosphate removal from this study would be Media Mix 1. Media Mix 2 does have the highest average orthophosphate removal of all the mixes for all of the temperatures; however Media Mix 1 outperforms Mix 2 for the other two temperatures. The best column for Nitrate removal is the Media Mix 1 column. The temperature conversion factors for nitrate were found to be 1.11, 1.1, and 1.01 for Media Mix 1, the Control and Media Mix 2 respectively. The temperature conversion factors for orthophosphate were found to be 1.02, 0.99, and 0.95. As well as temperature conversion factors, the activation energies and frequency factors for the Arrhenius Equation were investigated. Average values corresponding to each column, species, and temperature would be inaccurate due to the large variation in calculated values.


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Graduation Date



Chang, Ni-Bin


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering








Release Date

December 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)