Bead filters can be also employed to upgrade an existing plant most commonly for the polishing of suspended solids, CBOD5, or ammonia as a tertiary polisher for a mechanical plant, wetland, or lagoon system. Fixed film operation of the unit provides additional stability to the cold water nitrification capabilities of a suspended growth system. Effluents of wetlands, normally low in BOD, can be protected from the discharge of autonomously produced particulate organics that can lead to violations of suspended solids criteria. Treatment of lagoon effluents with bead filters can dramatically improve effluent quality although this goal is frequently challenged by ever-changing algal populations. Whether a lagoon is dominated by heterotrophs or phototrophs a RCPG unit will always provide nitrification when needed.

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