(633c) Bench Scale Investigation of the Biosand Filter Media As the Fluoride, Turbidity, and E. coli Removal

Zhao, W., University of South Florida
Ergas, S., University of South Florida
Alcantar, N., University of South Florida
Biosand filter (BSF) is a simple and inexpensive facility that can be built as a community-based water treatment technique using locally-available materials. It has been proven that BSF can remove turbidity, E. coli, arsenic in water efficiently by modifying the filtration media. Drinking water fluoridation is prevalent in the world. High fluoride intake would cause dental fluorosis and other toxic health effects, especially for children. Therefore, drinking water de-fluoridation is necessary to safeguard public health. There is little information on the use of BSF for fluoride removal. For instance, some previous works reported that aluminum oxide-coated pumice (AOCP) was effective for fluoride removal and had better removal efficiency compared to activated alumina. Other research works found that pumice media BSF can provide similar water quality as conventional sand BSF but 30% more filtered water. Based on these findings, we have investigated the optimization of using AOCP surfaces to serve as media for BSF to clean contaminant water. Preliminary results have shown that AOCP can remove 93% of fluoride in surface water. In our setting, the traditional sand layer has been replaced by AOCP surfaces. We have found that filtration rate, contaminants removal efficacy are prime parameters that enhance BSF performance. It is expected that our findings will be able to predict the behavior of BSFs and their implementation in low-income communities or as point of use (PoU) systems.