Water research

Optimized removal of dissolved organic carbon and trace organic contaminants during combined ozonation and artificial groundwater recharge.

PMID 23014565


Pilot scale experiments using an 8 g/h ozonation unit and a 1.4 m(2) slow sand filter have demonstrated that the combination of ozonation and artificial groundwater recharge is suitable for efficient reduction of bulk and trace organics. The biodegradation of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the slow sand filter was enhanced from 22% without pre-treatment to 34% by pre-ozonation. In addition, realistic surface water concentrations of most investigated trace organic compounds (TrOCs) including carbamazepine, sulfamethoxazole, phenazone and metoprolol were reduced below the limits of quantification. Only a few TrOCs, e.g. primidone and benzotriazole, were not efficiently removed in both treatment steps and could be detected regularly in the filter effluent. For these compounds, enhanced treatment, such as advanced oxidation processes, needs to be considered. Testing for genotoxicity and cytotoxicity did not reveal any systematic adverse effects for human health. The formation of the by-product bromate from bromide was below the limit of the German drinking water directive of 10 μg/L. No removal of bromate was observed in the aerobic slow sand filter. Additional experiments with sand columns showed that operating a preceding bank filtration step to reduce DOC can reduce oxidant demand by approximately 20%.