Effects of physical disturbances on media and performance of household-scale slow sand (BioSand) filters

Mahaffy, Naomi C., Dickson, Sarah, Cantwell, Raymond E., Lucier, Kayla and Schuster-Wallace, Corinne J., (2015). Effects of physical disturbances on media and performance of household-scale slow sand (BioSand) filters. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology AQUA, 64(3), 250-259

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Mahaffy, Naomi C.
    Dickson, Sarah
    Cantwell, Raymond E.
    Lucier, Kayla
    Schuster-Wallace, Corinne J.
    Title Effects of physical disturbances on media and performance of household-scale slow sand (BioSand) filters
    Appearing in Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology AQUA
    Volume 64
    Issue No. 3
    Publication Date 2015-05
    Place of Publication London
    Publisher IWA Publishing
    Start page 250
    End page 259
    Language eng
    Abstract Point-of-use (POU) water treatment provides households in rural and remote communities with a means of obtaining greater control over their water quality and its effects on human health. One of the most prevalent POU interventions, the BioSand filter (BSF), is a household-scale, intermittently operated slow sand filter used by over 300,000 households. The sand and gravel media within BSFs can be housed in concrete (cBSF) or Hydraid plastic (pBSF) bodies, with the latter becoming increasingly popular due to their portability, durability, and anticipated scalability. This study evaluated whether pBSFs, which are lighter and thinner than their concrete counterparts, can maintain their integrity and performance after being subjected to disturbances that could occur in a typical household. Eight pBSFs and two cBSFs were run in parallel for 13 weeks, and three disturbances – one-time filter movement, one-time side impacts, and daily bucket impacts – were applied. Moving and side impacts affected pBSFs more dramatically than cBSFs, causing marked decreases in sand column height (6–29 mm decrease, p < 0.001) and decreases in maximum initial flow rate (18–84% decrease, p < 0.001). Brief spikes in pBSF effluent turbidity (0.98–15.2 NTU greater than mean effluent levels) also occurred immediately after disturbances.
    Copyright Holder IWA Publishing
    Copyright Year 2015
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.2166/aqua.2014.061
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    Created: Tue, 21 Jun 2016, 05:50:33 JST by Anderson, Kelsey on behalf of UNU INWEH