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Characterization of the relationship between ceramic pot filter water production and turbidity in source water
- Salvinelli, Carlo, Elmore, A. Curt, Reidmeyer, Mary R., Drake, K. David, Ahmad, Khaldoun I.
- Water research 2016 v.104 pp. 28-33
- ceramics, developing countries, particle size distribution, total suspended solids, turbidity, water filters, water treatment
- Ceramic pot filters represent a common and effective household water treatment technology in developing countries, but factors impacting water production rate are not well-known. Turbidity of source water may be principal indicator in characterizing the filter's lifetime in terms of water production capacity. A flow rate study was conducted by creating four controlled scenarios with different turbidities, and influent and effluent water samples were tested for total suspended solids and particle size distribution. A relationship between average flow rate and turbidity was identified with a negative linear trend of 50 mLh−1/NTU. Also, a positive linear relationship was found between the initial flow rate of the filters and average flow rate calculated over the 23 day life of the experiment. Therefore, it was possible to establish a method to estimate the average flow rate given the initial flow rate and the turbidity in the influent water source, and to back calculate the maximum average turbidity that would need to be maintained in order to achieve a specific average flow rate. However, long-term investigations should be conducted to assess how these relationships change over the expected CPF lifetime. CPFs rejected fine suspended particles (below 75 μm), especially particles with diameters between 0.375 μm and 10 μm. The results confirmed that ceramic pot filters are able to effectively reduce turbidity, but pretreatment of influent water should be performed to avoid premature failure.