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Evaluation of bank filtration as a pretreatment method for the provision of hygienically safe drinking water in Norway: results from monitoring at two full-scale sites

Kvitsand, Hanne M. L., Myrmel, Mette, Fiksdal, Liv, Østerhus, Stein W.
Hydrogeology journal 2017 v.25 no.5 pp. 1257-1269
acids, aquifers, bacteriophages, case studies, color, dissolved organic carbon, drinking water, filtration, groundwater, hydrophobicity, microbial contamination, monitoring, sediments, surface water, water quality, water treatment, wells, Norway
Two case studies were carried out in central Norway in order to assess the performance of bank filtration systems in cold-climate fluvial aquifers relying on recharge from humic-rich surface waters with moderate microbial contamination. Three municipal wells and two surface-water sources at operative bank filtration systems were monitored for naturally occurring bacteriophages, fecal indicators, natural organic matter (NOM) and physico-chemical water quality parameters during a 4-month period. Aquifer passage effectively reduced the microorganism and NOM concentrations at both study sites. Bacteriophages were detected in 13 of 16 (81%) surface-water samples and in 4 of 24 (17%) well-water samples, and underwent 3 ± 0.3 log₁₀ reduction after 50–80-m filtration and 20–30 days of subsurface passage. NOM reductions (color: 74–97%; dissolved organic carbon: 54–80%; very hydrophobic acids: 70%) were similar to those achieved by conventional water-treatment processes and no further treatment was needed. Both groundwater dilution and sediment filtration contributed to the hygienic water quality improvements, but sediment filtration appeared to be the most important process with regard to microbial and NOM reductions. A strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats analysis showed that bank filtration technology has a high potential as a pretreatment method for the provision of hygienically safe drinking water in Norway.