A previous study funded by the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research found that a wetland/surface water flow system on previously mind phosphate land in combination with the use of tailing sand, a by-product of the phosphate mine beneficiation process, can provide an effective means of improving quality of industrial wastewater and domestic effluent. The present study confirmed these findings, showing that all primary, volatile and synthetic organic drinking water standards were met during the continuous 3 years sampling period. Only five criteria (iron, color, odor, fluoride and manganese) in the secondary drinking water criteria were not always met. This was also found to be the case for the concentrations of total and fecal coliform. This research also provided assurances that the use of UV radiation would prevent any exceedance of the microorganisms criteria. The study confirmed the hypothesis that the wetland/tailing sand filter system provided water with a low concentration of dissolved oxygen with a negative oxygen reduction potential. Column leach bench tests, using different water and limestone cuttings from the Suwannee, Ocala and Avon Park Formations in the upper Florida aquifer in west central Florida, provided information on the potential for the release of arsenic into the groundwater.
Peter J. Schreuder, Schreuder, Inc.; Thomas Pichler, University of South Florida. December 2010.