Manganese (Mn) removal in drinking water filters is facilitated by biological and physico-chemical processes. However, there is limited information about the dominant processes for Mn removal in full-scale matured filters with different filter materials over filter depth. Water and filter material samples were collected from 10 full-scale drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) to characterise the Mn removal processes, to evaluate the potential use of enhancers and to gain further insight on operational conditions of matured filters for the efficient Mn removal. The first-order Mn removal constant at the DWTPs varied from 10−2 to 10−1 min−1. The amount of Mn coating on the filter material grains showed a strong correlation with the amount of iron, calcium and total coating, but no correlation with the concentration of ATP. Inhibition of biological activity showed that Mn removal in matured filters was dominated by physico-chemical processes (59–97%). Addition of phosphorous and trace metals showed limited effect on Mn removal capacity, indicating that the enhancement of Mn removal in matured filters is possible but challenging. There was limited effect of the filter material type (quartz, calcium carbonate and anthracite) on Mn removal in matured filters, which can be relevant information for the industry when assessing filter designs and determining returns of investments.

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