Bank filtration (BF) is an attractive, robust and reliable water treatment technology. It has been used in Europe and USA for a long time; however experience with this technology so far is site specific. There are no guidelines or tools for transfer of this technology to other locations, specifically to developing countries. A four-step methodology was developed at UNESCO-IHE to analyse feasibility and to predict the performance of BF for water treatment. This included (i) hydraulic simulation using MODFLOW; (ii) determination of share of bank filtrate using NASRI BF simulator; (iii) prediction of water quality from a BF system using the water quality guidelines developed and (iv) comparison of the costs of BF systems and existing conventional surface water treatment systems for water treatment. The methodology was then applied to assess feasibility of BF in five cities in Africa. It was found that in most of the cities studied BF is a feasible and attractive option from hydraulic, water quality as well as operational cost considerations. Considerable operational and maintenance costs saving can be achieved and water quality can be further improved by switching from conventional chemical-based surface water treatment to BF or at least by replacing some of the treatment units with BF systems.

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