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.

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