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Effects of Backwashing on Granular Activated Carbon with Ammonium Removal Potential in a Full-Scale Drinking Water Purification Plant

1
Center of Safe and Energy-Saving Engineering Technology for Urban Water Supply and Drainage System, School of Ecological Environment and Urban Construction, Fujian University of Technology, Fuzhou 350118, Fujian, China
2
Department of Urban Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
3
Research Center for Water Environment Technology, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(12), 1830; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121830
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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PDF [1737 KB, uploaded 16 December 2018]
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Abstract

Granular activated carbon (GAC) has been widely introduced to advanced drinking water purification plants to remove organic matter and ammonium. Backwashing, which is the routine practice for GAC maintenance, is an important operational factor influencing the performance of GAC and its microbial biomass. In this study, the effects of backwashing on the ammonium removal potential of GAC were evaluated. In addition, abundances of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) on GAC were analyzed. GAC samples before and after backwashing were collected from a full-scale drinking water purification plant. Samplings were conducted before and after implementation of prechlorination of raw water. The results showed that the ammonium removal potential of the GAC increased by 12% after backwashing before prechlorination (p < 0.01). After implementing the prechlorination, the ammonium removal potential of the GAC decreased by 12% even after backwashing (p < 0.01). The AOA was predominant on the GAC in the two samplings. Regardless of prechlorination, the amounts of the AOA and the AOB remained at the same level before and after backwashing. Analysis of the backwashing water indicated that the amounts of the AOA and AOB washed out from the GAC were negligible (0.08%–0.26%) compared with their original amounts on the GAC. These results revealed the marginal role of backwashing on the biomass of ammonia oxidizers on GAC. However, the results also revealed that backwashing could have a negative impact on the ammonium removal potential of GAC during prechlorination. View Full-Text
Keywords: ammonia-oxidizing archaea; ammonia-oxidizing bacteria; backwashing; ammonium removal potential; prechlorination; granular activated carbon ammonia-oxidizing archaea; ammonia-oxidizing bacteria; backwashing; ammonium removal potential; prechlorination; granular activated carbon
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Niu, J.; Kasuga, I.; Kurisu, F.; Furumai, H. Effects of Backwashing on Granular Activated Carbon with Ammonium Removal Potential in a Full-Scale Drinking Water Purification Plant. Water 2018, 10, 1830.

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