The current United States maximum contaminant level for arsenic in drinking water is set at 50 μg/l. Because of the cancer risks involved, Canada has already lowered the maximum contaminant level to 25 μg/l; the United States Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing the current allowable level for arsenic with a view of lowering it significantly. Various treatment methods have been adopted to remove arsenic from drinking water. These methods include 1) adsorption-coprecipitation using iron and aluminum salts, 2) adsorption on activated alumina, activated carbon, and activated bauxite, 3) reverse osmosis, 4) ion exchange and 5) oxidation followed by filtration. Because of the promise of oxidation-filtration systems, column studies were conducted at the University of Regina to examine oxidation with KMnO4 followed by filtration using manganese greensand and iron-oxide coated sand to examine the removal of arsenic from drinking water; these results were compared with the data from ion exchange studies. These studies demonstrated that As (III) could be reduced from 200 μg/l to below 25 μg/l by the manganese greensand system. In the case of manganese greensand filtration, addition of iron in the ratio of 20:1 was found necessary to achieve this removal.

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