Cryptosporidium and Particle Removal from Low Turbidity Water by Engineered Ceramic Media Filtration
Scott, David James
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A series of pilot-scale granular media filtration experiments was conducted to examine the effect of media roughness on filter performance and to evaluate the applicability of spherical, rough engineered ceramic filter media for use in granular media filters used for drinking water treatment. Filter media performance was assessed using turbidity and particle count reductions, Cryptosporidium oocyst and oocyst-sized microsphere removal, head loss and stability of operation. Experiments were designed to allow related facets of current filtration research to be examined. These included: effect of loading rate, coagulant type and dosage, and suitability of latex microspheres as surrogates for Cryptosporidium oocyst removal by granular media filtration. This study indicated that increased filter media roughness consistently improved turbidity and particle count reduction under the conditions investigated. As well, the engineered media also consistently achieved greater stability of operation during non-ideal operational periods (e.g. sudden change in filter influent turbidity).Oocyst removals were generally improved by media roughness, though this improvement was reliant on operating conditions, such as coagulant dose and type of coagulant used. The surrogate relationship between oocyst-sized latex microspheres and oocyst removal by filtration was also dependent on coagulant dose and type of coagulant. During trials with no coagulant addition, contrasts in oocyst removal were not significant, suggesting that neither surface roughness nor the size of media used were significant factors impacting oocyst removal by filtration during those periods of impaired operation. When pre-treating raw water with PACl, the engineered ceramic media achieved up to 1.25 log10 higher oocyst removals than conventional media. This improvement in oocyst removal relative to conventional media was not observed when alum was used as the primary coagulant, however. Future studies should directly compare engineered and conventional media filtration performance, using other raw water sources and different operating conditions. Biologically active filtration should also be included in future performance studies because the rough, highly porous surface of the engineered ceramic media is likely to provide excellent biofilm support.