Canadian Municipal Water eBulletin

Biodegradable organic matter and rapid-rate biofilter performance: A review

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A new study "Biodegradable organic matter and rapid-rate biofilter performance: A review" has just been published in the journal Water Research. The authors examined 100 or more studies on biological filtration (biofiltration) and reported the median biodegradable organic carbon (BDOC) and assimilable organic carbon (AOC) percentages with and without pre-ozonation. They also reported on removals through biofiltration: "For all operation conditions (n = 117), biofilters (12 min average EBCT) removed 12% (median) of the influent TOC with higher removals for ozonated waters, 15% (median), compared to nonozonated waters, 10% (median). As temperature increased from =10 °C to =20 °C, TOC removal increased from 10% to 17% (median)."
They conclude that "Biofiltration can be an efficient treatment technology to remove the biodegradable portion of organic matter from the influent water, but should be optimized to achieve maximum removal. EBCT, temperature, oxidant conditions, and backwash strategies, among others, can impact biofilter efficacy and should be carefully chosen or taken into consideration in the design and operation of biofilters."

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