Design Manual: Removal of Arsenic from Drinking Water by Adsorptive Media



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United States Environmental Protection Agency


This design manual is an in-depth presentation of the steps required to design and operate a water treatment plant for removal of excess arsenic from drinking water using the adsorptive media process. This treatment process is very reliable, simple and cost-effective. Several adsorptive media products are available in the marketplace that have successfully demonstrated their capability to remove arsenic from drinking water to levels well below the revised MCL, 0.010 mg/L. Other new products continue to be developed. The adsorptive media products are preferential for the removal of arsenic over other competing ions. Therefore, unless a water system requires treatment capability for removal of other suspended or dissolved contaminants, the adsorptive media treatment method merits evaluation. The adsorptive media process is implemented with operational options which vary with the product selected. For water systems that are primarily concerned with financial feasibility, capital and operating costs, each operational option along with each available adsorptive media product should be evaluated. This design manual provides the methods for competently performing each evaluation. The arsenic removal capacity of some adsorptive media products, such as activated alumina, are very sensitive to the pH of the water passing through treatment. Others, such as iron-based products, are not. Treatment processes incorporating pH adjustment capability require careful handling and storage of corrosive chemicals (acid and caustic). Some adsorptive media products, such as activated alumina, are capable of being chemically regenerated for repetition of treatment cycles using the same corrosive chemicals as those used for pH adjustment in the treatment process. Whether or not pH of water being treated is adjusted, the adsorptive media can be replaced in place of regeneration upon exhaustion of arsenic capacity. This design manual presents the information necessary to design and operate treatment systems for any combination of operational options and for any adsorptive medie. It also discusses the capital and operating costs including the many variables which can raise or lower costs for identical treatment systems.


97 pages; available for download at the link below.


arsenic removal, adsorption, water purification, water pollution, environmental protection