Enhancing the performance of slow sand filter pre-treatment with alum (i.e. direct or contact filtration) has been proposed as an alternative to overcome limitations of conventional gravel (roughing) pre-filtration. Experimental results revealed high turbidity reduction efficiencies in alum-dosed pre-filtration. However, due to the alum coagulation, the nature of the particulates in the pre-treatment effluent changed and had a potential to shorten the downstream slow sand filter run lengths by approximately 50% under the conditions tested. Hence, depending on the effluent turbidity levels the effectiveness of the alum-dosed pre-treatment could be compromised, despite its high efficiency. Relatively low turbidity levels (<2 NTU) were needed to minimise excessive headloss development in alum-dosed filters. However, the necessary resources to achieve such process control may not be available in developing country contexts. Furthermore, full-scale field experiences indicated the limited effectiveness of alum dosing prior to slow sand filters and the difficulties in maintaining an adequate chemical dosing in under-resourced settings.
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Research Article| June 01 2013
Slow sand filtration pre-treatment with alum is efficient, but is it effective?
C. C. Dorea; Slow sand filtration pre-treatment with alum is efficient, but is it effective?. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development 1 June 2013; 3 (2): 106–111. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/washdev.2013.138
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