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Drinking Water Engineering and Science An interactive open-access journal

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doi:10.5194/dwes-2017-10
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
23 Feb 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Drinking Water Engineering and Science (DWES) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Riverbank filtration for treatment of highly turbid Colombian rivers
Juan Pablo Gutiérrez1,2, Doris van Halem1, and Luuk Rietveld1 1Civil Engineering Department, Delft University of Technology, Delft, 2628CN, Netherlands
2Cinara Institute, Faculty of Engineering, Cali, 760032, Colombia
Abstract. The poor water quality of many Colombian surface waters, forces for seeking alternative, sustainable treatment solutions with the ability to manage peak pollution events and to guarantee an uninterrupted provision of safe drinking water to the population. This review assesses the potential of using riverbank filtration (RBF) for the highly turbid waters in Colombia emphasizing on water quality improvement and the influence of clogging by suspended solids. The suspended sediments may on the one hand be favorable in the improvement of the water quality mainly due to the strengthening of cake filtration and deep bed filtration processes. On the other hand, the formed cake layer must be balanced by scouring in order for an RBF system to be sustainable without loss of hydraulic capacity. In general, RBF seems to be a technology appropriate for use in highly turbid and contaminated surface rivers in Colombia, where improvements due to the removal of turbidity, and pathogens, and to a lesser extent inorganics, organic matter and micro-pollutants are expected. RBF has the potential to mitigate shock loads thus leading to the prevention of shutdowns of surface water treatment plants. In addition, RBF, as an alternative pre-treatment step, may provide an important reduction of chemicals’ consumption, considerably simplifying the operation of the existing treatment processes. However, clogging and self-cleansing issues must be studied deeper in the context of these highly turbid waters, evaluating the potential loss of abstraction capacity yield as well as the development of different redox zones for efficient contaminant removal.

Citation: Gutiérrez, J. P., van Halem, D., and Rietveld, L.: Riverbank filtration for treatment of highly turbid Colombian rivers, Drink. Water Eng. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/dwes-2017-10, in review, 2017.
Juan Pablo Gutiérrez et al.
Juan Pablo Gutiérrez et al.

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Short summary
In Colombia in the last decades turbidity and contamination events have become a vast concern for many environmental authorities and drinking water companies. Therefore, there is a need for seeking for alternative technologies to improve the quality of source water used for water supply. This article assesses the potential of using riverbank filtration for the highly turbid waters in Colombia emphasizing on water quality improvement and the influence of clogging by suspended solids.
In Colombia in the last decades turbidity and contamination events have become a vast concern...
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