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Comparing Mixed-Media and Conventional Slow-Sand Filters for Arsenic Removal from Groundwater

Water Technology Research Group, NHL-Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Rengerslaan 10, 8917 DD Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, Agora 1, 8934 CJ Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Centre of Expertise Water Technology, Agora 4, 8934 CJ Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Campus João David Ferreira Lima, s/n, Trindade, Florianópolis-SC 88040-900, Brazil
Wageningen University and Research Centre, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(2), 119;
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
PDF [2832 KB, uploaded 31 January 2018]


Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a major public health concern worldwide. The problem has been reported mainly in southern Asia and, especially, in Bangladesh. Slow-sand filters (SSF) augmented with iron were proven to be a simple, low-cost and decentralized technique for the treatment of arsenic-contaminated sources. In this research, three pilot-scale SSF (flowrate 6 L·h−1) were tested regarding their capability of removing arsenic from groundwater in conditions similar to those found in countries like Bangladesh (70 µg As(III) L−1, 26 °C). From the three, two filters were prepared with mixed media, i.e., sand mixed with corrosive iron matter (CIM filter) and iron-coated sand (ICS filter), and a third conventional SSF was used as a reference. The results obtained showed that the CIM filter could remove arsenic below the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline concentration of 10 µg·L−1, even for inlet concentrations above 150 µg·L−1. After 230 days of continuous operation the arsenic concentration in the effluent started increasing, indicating depletion or saturation of the CIM layer. The effluent arsenic concentration, however, never exceeded the Bangladeshi standard of 50 µg·L−1 throughout the whole duration of the experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenic; groundwater; slow sand filer; corrosive iron matter; iron-coated sand arsenic; groundwater; slow sand filer; corrosive iron matter; iron-coated sand

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Śmiech, K.M.; Tolsma, A.; Kovács, T.; Dalbosco, V.; Yasadi, K.; Groendijk, L.; Agostinho, L.L.F. Comparing Mixed-Media and Conventional Slow-Sand Filters for Arsenic Removal from Groundwater. Water 2018, 10, 119.

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