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Sand filter

Sand filters are used for water purification. There are three main types;

  1. rapid (gravity) sand filters
  2. upflow sand filters
  3. slow sand filters

All three methods are used extensively in the water industry throughout the world. The first two require the use of flocculant chemicals to work effectively whilst slow sand filters can produce very high quality water free from pathogens, taste and odour without the need for chemical aids.

Passing flocculated water through a rapid gravity sand filter strains out the floc and the particles trapped within it reducing numbers of bacteria and removing most of the solids. The medium of the filter is sand of varying grades. Where taste and odour may be a problem (organoleptic impacts), the sand filter may include a layer of activated carbon to remove such taste and odour.

Sand filters become clogged with floc after a period in use and they are then backwashed or pressure washed to remove the floc. This backwash water is run into settling tanks so that the floc can settle out and it is then disposed of as waste material. The supernatant water is then run back into the treatment process or disposed off as a waste-water stream. In some countries the sludge may be used as a soil conditioner. Inadequate filter maintenance has been the cause of occasional drinking water contamination.

Sand filters are occasionally used in the treatment of sewage as a final polishing stage (see Sewage treatment). In these filters the sand traps residual suspended material and bacteria and provides a physical matrix for bacterial decomposition of nitrogenous material, including ammonia and nitrates, into nitrogen gas.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sand_filter". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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