Rapid population growth intensifies water scarcity, highlighting the importance of treatment technologies such as reverse osmosis and membrane filtration to ensure safe drinking water and preserve resources. The use of polystyrene as a filter for polluted water is valuable due to its porous surface, efficiently retaining impurities. The system, a tubular reactor with a mixed polystyrene bed, underwent evaluations with varying particle sizes, flow rates and times, operating in dead-end mode and series system without recirculation with theoretical residence times between 180 and 360 min. The study, divided into two phases, optimized the system in the first phase, characterizing the filter bed and carrying out maintenance for 360 min at 0.5 L/min. Phase two evaluated the performance of the reactor in treating wastewater with flow rates of 0.5 and 1 L/min for 180 min. Under the best conditions of Phase I, 55% of Escherichia coli and turbidity were deactivated, not meeting potability standards. In Phase II, there was efficiency in the removal of several parameters, such as chemical oxygen demand (78.26%), total phosphorus (75%), nitrate (73.42%), ammonia (73.13%), nitrite (69.33%), potassium (70.83%), and sodium (68.75%). In addition, 98.32% of E. coli was deactivated, meeting CONAMA Class 2 and 3 irrigation standards.

  • Reuse.

  • Wastewater.

  • Low cost technologies.

  • Polystyrene filter media.

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