General Design Parameters

Horizontal or vertical pressure filters are recommended in wastewater applications because they handle higher solids loads and pressure heads and are more compact and less costly. The freeboard (open space above the filter bed) for anthracite- (carbon and plastic) containing filters should be a minimum of 50%. For sand filters, a 30% minimum is required.

Environmental engineers can best determine the filter backwash rate based on the operating temperature and available bed expansion. For dual or multilayered filters containing siliceous media, a minimum of 15 gpm per sq ft backwash rate should be used. An air scour (purging), applied from the bottom, gives superior cleaning to surface washers or subsurface washers. Air purging also saves 30 to 50% of the wash water requirement. The recommended air rate is 3 to 7.5 scfm per sq ft. Underdrain graded gravel or siliceous layers should be a minimum of 16 in deep, with sizes ranging from 1As in to 6 X 10 mesh.

Plastic strainer underdrain nozzles screwed into flat steel decks, cemented into glazed blocks, or screwed into header laterals offer underdrains for either gravity or pressure filters without graded gravel layers. The application of these nozzles for wastewater must be carefully considered because of the possibility of clogging the fine strainer openings.

Filter strainers can also be fitted with long stems or airmetering tubes for uniform air distribution during the scouring (backwash) cycle. The air is introduced under the filter deck and forms a cushion, as shown in Figure 7.33.1. After the air pocket forms it allows air seepage to flow through the stem slots in proportion to the back pressure that develops.

The total bed depth of single or dual layers should be at least 24 in, with the sand or anthracite layers preferably 16in each (12in minimum). Deeper beds offer more storage space and thus longer runs. Table 7.33.1 gives the media specification ranges.

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