Removal of Natural Organic Matter and Control of Trihalomethanes Formation in Water Treatment
Abstract: Volcanic ash, pumice and Moringa oleifera (M. oleifera) were investigated as indigenous materials for removal of natural organic matter (NOM) at Kampala and Masaka water treatment plants in Uganda. Coagulation and filtration experiments were done using raw water at Kampala (Ggaba) and Masaka (Boma) National Water & Sewerage Corporation water treatment plants. Assessment of the two plants was done and they were found to be faced with differing challenges given the nature of their raw water sources. Therefore, the study was conducted to seek appropriate treatment processes that suite the conditions at the respective plant and avoid or minimize formation of unwanted chlorination by-products. The results from the study indicated that there were both operational and design handicaps at the Ggaba treatment plant with a need to modify the filtration and clarification units. At Masaka, pre-chlorination led to increases in total trihalomethanes as high as 4000%. The characterization studies indicated the major fraction of NOM to be hydrophilic and there was no variation in the character of NOM along the unit treatment processes investigated. On the other hand experiments conducted at both the pilot and laboratory scale gave promising results. Simple horizontal flow roughing filter at Masaka gave rise to dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and ferrous iron removals of 27% and 89% respectively. With a combined use of pumice and hydrogen peroxide in the filter, DOC removals of up to 68% were achieved. The results from jar test experiments also indicated that use of alum with M. oleifera coagulant extracted with sodium chloride solution as coagulant aid is promising as a first stage in the treatment train for waters with a humic materials and high content of iron, typical of swamp water sources. Therefore the findings show that it is possible to avoid the formation of unwanted by-products by application of roughing filtration with hydrogen peroxide in place of the pre-chlorination process. Assessment of the characteristics of the volcanic ash showed that it meets the requirements for a filtration material; and results obtained from the pilot study showed that it was a suitable alternative material for use in a dual media filtration system. There was an increase in the filter run length of about two and half fold in the dual media filtration column compared to the mono medium column.
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