Seasonal Influences on Heavy Metal Attenuation in an Anaerobic Treatment Wetland, Butte, Montana

Gammons, Christopher H. ; Drury, William J. ; Li, Youning
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
A demonstration scale, subsurface flow anaerobic wetland was built to treat zinc and other metals in surface drainage near the historic mining center of Butte, MT. Based on three years of continuous monitoring (1996-1998), copper and cadmium were effectively removed year-round, but attenuation of dissolved zinc was dependent on hydraulic residence time (HRT) and bacterial sulfate reduction (BSR) rates. BSR rates decreased in winter months, as did HRT due to the development of thick frost zones in the substrates. An additional problem was the inability of the wetland substrate to completely filter out fine-grained particles of ZnS forming in the anaerobic cells.
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