Studies on induced bank filtration (IBF), a cost-effective and reliable drinking water production method, usually focus on processes affecting the target drinking water quality. We aim to expand this view by assessing potential impacts of IBF on surface water quality. We suggest that IBF can directly and indirectly affect several physical, chemical and biological processes in both the sediment and open water column, eventually leading to positive or negative changes in source water quality. Direct effects of IBF comprise water level fluctuations, changes in water level and retention time, and in organic content and redox conditions in littoral sediments. Indirect effects are mainly triggered by interrupting groundwater discharge into the surface water body. The latter may result in increased seasonal temperature variations in sediment and water and reduced discharge of solutes transported by groundwater such as nutrients and carbon dioxide. These changes can have cascading effects on various water quality, e.g., by facilitating toxic phytoplankton blooms. We propose investigating these potential effects of IBF in future field and laboratory studies to allow for more detailed insights into these yet unknown effects and their magnitude in order to assure a sustainable application of this valuable technique in the future.
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