With a view to developing a simple household method for removing iron from water, a laboratory study was undertaken to assess the potential of potassium permanganate, ceramic candle filter, or a combination of the two in removing iron from iron-spiked tap water. Batch tests using potassium permanganate with 5 min slow mixing and 2.5 h settling showed an iron removal in the range of 79–99% for the water samples tested (pH 6.0–10.0; initial iron concentration 3.5–10.0 mg/L). The optimum dose of potassium permanganate varied between 1.6 and 8.0 mg/L. Removal was generally higher at higher pH. Tests with a ceramic candle filter showed that, used alone, it could not remove iron efficiently; removal ranged between 7 and 20%. However, when water mixed with potassium permanganate (for 5 min) was fed into the filter, a high iron removal (91–99%) was observed. An Escherichia coli challenge test showed improved bacteria removal in presence of potassium permanganate. The results of the study indicated that a combination of potassium permanganate and candle filter can be used effectively for the household removal of iron in the rural areas of developing countries.

You do not currently have access to this content.