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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 28, 2022
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  3. Twenty-five United Nations member states in the wider Caribbean region ratified the Cartagena Convention, which covers the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and some parts of the Atlantic Ocean. The Land-Based Sources and Activities protocol (LBS Protocol) of that convention addresses nutrient pollution from sewage discharges, agricultural runoff and other sources. Unfortunately, most Caribbean people use conventional onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTs), especially septic systems. These systems fail to remove nitrogen effectively, posing a challenge for near shore environments. Passive biological nitrogen removal (BNR) processes have been developed for OWTs that rely on simple packedmore »bed bioreactors, with little energy or chemical inputs and low operations and maintenance (O&M) requirements. This paper provides a case study from Florida on the partnerships and pathways for research to develop an innovative technology, Hybrid Adsorption and Biological Treatment System (HABiTS), for nitrogen reduction in OWTs. HABiTS combine ion exchange materials and BNR to remove nitrogen from septic tank effluent and buffer transient loadings. HABiTS, employs natural zeolite material (e.g. clinoptilolite) and expanded clay in the first stage to achieve both ammonium ion exchange and nitrification. The second stage of HABiTS utilizes tire chips, elemental sulphur pellets and oyster shells for adsorption of nitrate as well as sulphur oxidizing denitrification. Under transient load applications, the nitrogen in excess of the biodegradation capacity during high loading events was partially retained within the ion exchange and adsorption materials and readily available later for the microorganisms during lower loading events. Results from a bench scale bioreactor study with marine wastewater, which is relevant to where seawater is used for toilet flushing, are also presented. Pilot scale tests on the OWT of an engaged stakeholder dependent on the marine environment, would contribute to broader discussions for paradigm shifts for nutrient removal from wastewater.« less