The impact of loading frequency and copper as a biocide on biosand filter performance

August 20, 2013 · 0 comments

The impact of loading frequency and copper as a biocide on biosand filter performanceJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, Aug 2013

Elizabeth M. Hyde and Laura W. Lackey

Mercer University School of Engineering, 1400 Coleman Ave., Macon, Georgia, 478-301-2552 E-mail:

Biological sand filters (BSFs) can appropriately serve as point-of-use water treatment in developing nations. This study examined the benefit of adding copper to a BSF, and evaluated the impact of its addition in relation to extended pause times. Four 70-L BSFs were created – copper was incorporated in the packing of the two BSFs labeled Filter 1 and Filter 3. Filters 1 and 2 were loaded daily while Filters 3 and 4 were watered every third day. Source water was taken from the Ocmulgee River in Macon, Georgia. To investigate variation due to watering frequency and biocidal addition, BSF performance was quantified using coliforms, turbidity, solids, dissolved oxygen, pH, and copper analyses. E. coli removal efficiencies for Filters 1, 2, 3, and 4 averaged 90, 77, 87, and 80%, respectively. Paired t-tests at α = 0.05 indicate that effluent coliform concentrations from filters watered daily were significantly impacted by the presence of copper. Filters loaded every third day showed no significant performance effect from copper addition on coliform removal efficiency. Similar paired t-tests at α = 0.05 for turbidity, solids, and COD showed no significant difference between filter performance.

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