Riverbank filtration for treatment of highly turbid Colombian rivers
Juan Pablo Gutiérrez1,2, Doris van Halem1, and Luuk Rietveld11Civil Engineering Department, Delft University of Technology, Delft, 2628CN, Netherlands 2Cinara Institute, Faculty of Engineering, Cali, 760032, Colombia
Received: 21 Feb 2017 – Accepted for review: 22 Feb 2017 – Discussion started: 23 Feb 2017
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.
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.