Use of bank filtration (BF) to improve water quality is of great importance for public water supply. The BF technique consists of the use of wells situated near riverbanks with sediment materials from the banks and bed as a natural filter, which significantly reduces pollutant concentration found in surface water. The objective of this study was to analyse the ability of the BF technique to improve water quality in a study performed on the Beberibe River, Pernambuco State, Brazil. At a pilot scale, physical structure in the experimental module comprises one production well and seven observation wells. Groundwater levels and physical–chemical monitoring were conducted both at the Beberibe River and a production well, to evaluate the effectiveness of the BF technique. In addition, coliforms group and cyanobacteria removal were also analysed. The BF technique at the Beberibe River effectively improved water quality in terms of physical–chemical and bacteriological parameters and pumped water complies with potability standards required by Brazilian law and the rules of the World Health Organization.

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