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Engineered Biofiltration for Drinking Water Treatment: Optimizing Strategies to Enhance Performance

Engineered Biofiltration for Drinking Water Treatment: Optimizing Strategies to Enhance Performance

Nyfennegger, Jennifer, Chance Lauderdale, Jess Brown, and Kara Scheitlin
Published In: 
Florida Journal of Water Resources,  
January 2013
​The use of biological drinking water treatment processes for the treatment of surface water and groundwater has recently been increasing in North America.Biofiltration can simultaneously remove a wide range of dissolved organic and inorganic contaminants, while achieving particle removal goals. Organic compounds, including color and taste and odor (T&O)-causing compounds, are not only removed but also destroyed in this process. This can limit the formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and lower regrowth potential in the distribution system. Operation of biofilters requires low energy input, minimal chemicals, and little waste production. Although biofiltration can provide numerous benefits, biofilter systems can be susceptible to hydraulic and water quality challenges, such as shortened runtimes, biological clogging, and breakthrough of contaminants such as T&O, manganese (Mn), and organic carbon. A purposefully operated biological system (i. e., engineered biofiltration) includes biological treatment objectives as important aspects of biofilter design and operation. The goal of this work is to shift the practice of biofiltration from a passive process, designed and operated around conventional filtration objectives, to an intentionally operated biological system. The studies described here include pilot-scale studies of two strategies to meet this goal: nutrient and peroxide enhancement.
Nyfennegger, J., C. Lauderdale, J. Brown, and K. Scheitlin. 2013. "Engineered Biofiltration for Drinking Water Treatment: Optimizing Strategies to Enhance Performance." Florida Water Resources Journal. November 2013, pp:12-17.