Abstract

This work presents mathematical modelling of Escherichia coli (E.coli) removal by a multi-barrier point-of-use drinking water system. The modelled system is a combination of three treatment stages: filtration by geotextile fabric followed by filtration and disinfection by silver-coated ceramic granular media (SCCGM) then granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. The presented models accounted for removal mechanisms by each treatment stage. E.coli was modelled as a microbial particle. E.coli inactivation by SCCGM was modelled using the Chick's, Chick-Watson, Collins-Selleck and complete mix system bacterial inactivation kinetic models, which were considered adequately representative for describing the removal. Geotextile removal was modelled using colloidal filtration theory (CFT) for hydrosol deposition in fibrous media. The filtration removal contributions by the SCCGM and GAC were modelled using CFT for removal of colloidal particles by granular media. The model results showed that inactivation by silver in the SCCGM was the main bacterial removal mechanism. Geotextile and GAC also depicted appreciable removals. The theoretical modelling approach used is important for design and optimization of the multi-barrier system and can support future research in terms of material combinations, system costs, etc. Collector diameter, particle size, filtration velocity and contact time were identified as critical parameters for E.coli removal efficiency.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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