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Combined Coagulation and Ultrafiltration Process to Counteract Increasing NOM in Brown Surface Water

Vatten & Miljö i Väst AB (VIVAB), 311 22 Falkenberg, Sweden
Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Lund Technical University, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
DHI, Agern Allé 5, 2970 Hørsholm, Denmark
Sweden Water Research AB, Ideon Science Park, 223 60 Lund, Sweden
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2017, 9(9), 697;
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
PDF [11978 KB, uploaded 13 September 2017]


Membrane hybrid processes—coagulation coupled with ultrafiltration (UF)—have become a common method to comply with the legal, chemical, and microbiological requirements for drinking water. The main advantages of integrating coagulation with membrane filtration are the enhanced removal of natural organic matter (NOM) and reduced membrane fouling. With in-line coagulation, coagulants are patched into the feed stream directly prior to the membrane process, without removing the coagulated solids. Compared with conventional coagulation/sedimentation, in-line coagulation/membrane reduces the treatment time and footprint. Coagulant dosing could be challenging in raw water of varying quality; however, with relatively stable specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA), dosing can be controlled. Recent studies indicate that UV absorbance correlates well with humic substances (HS), the major fraction to be removed during coagulation. This paper describes and evaluates a 30-month UF pilot trial on the surface water of Lake Neden (Sweden), providing drinking water to 60,000 residents. In this study, automatic coagulant dosing based on online measurement was successfully applied. Online sensor data were used to identify the current optimal aluminium coagulation conditions (0.5–0.7 mg L−1) and the potential boundaries (0.9–1.2 mg L−1) for efficient future (2040) NOM removal. The potential increase in NOM could affect the Al dose and drinking water quality significantly within 20 years, should the current trends in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) prevail. UV absorbance, the freshness index, and liquid chromatography-organic carbon detection (LC-OCD) measurements were used to optimise the process. Careful cross-calibration of raw and filtered samples is recommended when using online sensor data for process optimisation, even in low-turbidity water (formazin nephelometric unit (FNU) < 5). View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrafiltration; hollow fibre; natural organic matter (NOM); coagulation; optical sensors ultrafiltration; hollow fibre; natural organic matter (NOM); coagulation; optical sensors

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Keucken, A.; Heinicke, G.; Persson, K.M.; Köhler, S.J. Combined Coagulation and Ultrafiltration Process to Counteract Increasing NOM in Brown Surface Water. Water 2017, 9, 697.

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