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Drinking Water Engineering and Science An interactive open-access journal

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https://doi.org/10.5194/dwes-2018-6
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
23 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Drinking Water Engineering and Science (DWES).
Comprehensive analysis of the start-up period of a full-scale drinking water biofilter provides guidance for optimization
Loren Ramsay1, Inês L. Lousinha Breda1,2, and Ditte A. Søborg1 1Research Group for Energy and Environment, VIA University College, Horsens, 8700, Denmark
2Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University, Aalborg, 9220, Denmark
Abstract. The use of biofilters to produce drinking water from anaerobic groundwater is widespread in some European countries. A major disadvantage of biofilters is the long start-up period required for virgin filter medium to become fully functional. Although individual aspects of biofilter start-up have previously been investigated, no comprehensive study in full-scale using inherent inoculation has previously been documented. A thorough investigation of a full-scale drinking water biofilter was carried out over 10 weeks of start-up. The many spatial and temporal changes taking place during start-up were documented using a holistic approach. In addition to collection of many samples over time (frequency) and space (filter depth), this study entailed the use of multiple sample media (water, backwash water and filter media) and multiple types of analyses (physical, chemical and microbiological). The decrease in filter effluent concentrations of individual substances to compliance levels followed a specific order that was shown to coincide with the spatial-temporal development of bacteria on the filter media. Due to the abiotic nature of the iron removal process, iron disappears first followed by substances that require growth of microorganisms: ammonium, with nitrite appearing briefly near the end of ammonium removal, then manganese. The thorough overall picture obtained by these efforts provides guidance for optimization and monitoring of the start-up. Guidance include to shorten the start-up by focusing on kick-start of the ammonium removal, to limit the monitoring burden to at-line measurements of ammonium in finished water samples supplemented with manual manganese measurements when ammonium removal is complete, and to improve filter design by isolating the removal processes in separate, smaller filters.
Citation: Ramsay, L., Lousinha Breda, I. L., and Søborg, D. A.: Comprehensive analysis of the start-up period of a full-scale drinking water biofilter provides guidance for optimization, Drink. Water Eng. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/dwes-2018-6, in review, 2018.
Loren Ramsay et al.
Loren Ramsay et al.
Loren Ramsay et al.

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