Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014ND290B

Evaluation of Bioavailable Dissolved Organic Nitrogen Using Various Algal Species

Institute: North Dakota
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $7,300 Total Non-Federal Funds: $14,601

Principal Investigators: Halis Simsek

Abstract: Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) from final effluent of WWTPs and animal feedlots from agricultural areas are important nutrient sources for bacterial and algal communities in surface waters such as rivers, lakes, and estuaries. Excess amount of DON in surface waters can cause excess algal growth and dissolved oxygen depletion and ultimately cause eutrophication in water ecosystem. Because of its complex structure, DON is not readily available to some species in aquatic ecosystems. DON degradation converts high molecular weight organic compounds to low molecular weight organic/inorganic compounds, and finally this degradation make DON bioavailable to some species including algae, bacteria, micrograzers, bacterioplankton, cyanobacterium, and phytoplankton.Nutrient removal technologies in WWTPs can achieve more than 95% of inorganic nitrogen removal of the final effluent total dissolved nitrogen (TDN). However, approximately 25 to 80% of effluent TDN remain as DON and discharges to receiving waters. The main scope of this study is to collect DON and ABDON data from three locations of two different WWTPs and two locations from animal feedlots in order to investigate DON and ABDON for four different algae species in a two-stage trickling filter and an activated sludge WWTPs, and in an animal feedlots and to examine mixed culture algae and algae + bacteria interactions for 4 different algal species to determine the best algal species to utilize ABDON.