Peer review artikel

Influence of filter age on Fe, Mn and NH4+ removal in dual media rapid sand filters used for drinking water production


“Rapid sand filtration is a common method for removal of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and ammonium (NH4+) from anoxic groundwaters used for drinking water production. In this study, we combine geochemical and microbiological data to assess how filter age influences Fe, Mn and NH4+ removal in dual media filters, consisting of anthracite overlying quartz sand, that have been in operation for between ∼2 months and ∼11 years. We show that the depth where dissolved Fe and Mn removal occurs is reflected in the filter medium coatings, with ferrihydrite forming in the anthracite in the top of the filters (< 1 m), while birnessite-type Mn oxides are mostly formed in the sand (> 1 m). Removal of NH4+ occurs through nitrification in both the anthracite and sand and is the key driver of oxygen loss. Removal of Fe is independent of filter age and is always efficient (> 97% removal). In contrast, for Mn, the removal efficiency varies with filter age, ranging from 9 to 28% at ∼2-3 months after filter replacement to 100% after 8 months. After 11 years, removal reduces to 60-80%. The lack of Mn removal in the youngest filters (at 2-3 months) is likely the result of a relatively low abundance of mineral coatings that adsorb Mn2+ and provide surfaces for the establishment of a microbial community. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing shows that Gallionella, which are known Fe2+ oxidizers, are present after 2 months, yet Fe2+ removal is mostly chemical. Efficient NH4+ removal (> 90%) establishes within 3 months of operation but leakage occurs upon high NH4+loading (> 160 µM). Two-step nitrification by Nitrosomonas and Candidatus Nitrotoga is likely the most important NH4+ removal mechanism in younger filters during ripening (2 months), after which complete ammonia oxidation by Nitrospira and canonical two-step nitrification occur simultaneously in older filters. Our results highlight the strong effect of filter age on especially Mn2+but also NH4+ removal. We show that ageing of filter medium leads to the development of thick coatings, which we hypothesize leads to preferential flow, and breakthrough of Mn2+. Use of age-specific flow rates may increase the contact time with the filter medium in older filters and improve Mn2+ and NH4+ removal.”

(Citation: Haukelidsaeter S, Boersma AS, Kirwan L, Corbetta A, Gorres ID, Lenstra WK, Schoonenberg FK, Borger K, Vos L, van der Wielen PWJJ, van Kessel MAHJ, Lücker S, Slomp CP. – Influence of filter age on Fe, Mn and NH4+ removal in dual media rapid sand filters used for drinking water production – Water Research 242(2023)10, – DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2023.120184 – (Open Access))

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license,

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