Removal of iron(II) from groundwater by aeration and rapid sand filtration (RSF) with the accompanying production of drinking water sludge in the preparation of drinking water from groundwater, and chemical well clogging by accumulation of hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) precipitates and biomass after mixing of oxygen containing and of iron(II) containing groundwater, are identical processes. Iron(II) may precipitate from (ground)water by homogeneous, heterogeneous and/or biological oxidation, where the contribution of these processes, and thus the characteristics of the corresponding HFO precipitates, is a function of pH and process-conditions. Under current conditions in drinking water treatment, homogeneous oxidation dominates above pH ≈ 7.75, and heterogeneous and biological oxidation below this value. In chemical well clogging, this transition occurs at pH ≈ 7.0. This information is relevant for the optimization of removal of iron(II) from groundwater by aeration and RSF and the corresponding quality of the produced drinking water sludge, and for the operation of wells clogging by accumulation of HFO precipitates and biomass.

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