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Removal of arsenic from wastewater using chemical precipitation methods

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The use of arsenic in agriculture, industry, and domestic endeavors since the last century has increased the concentration of arsenic in the environment.

During cleanup activities at a former pesticide facility, water that was collected during various operations was contaminated with arsenic and required treatment before discharge. Chemical precipitation was identified as being the most effective means of treatment.

Bench-scale treatability testing was completed to determine the effectiveness of various coagulants, including ferric chloride, hydrated lime, sodium sulfide, and alum. A combination of hydrated lime and ferric chloride was able to remove more than 99% of the original arsenic concentration.

Contaminated water to be treated by the full-scale system had arsenic concentrations up to 48 mg/L. The discharge limitation required that the arsenic concentration be reduced to less than 1 mg/L. More than 605 000 L (160 000 gal) of water were treated using a combination of chemical precipitation, filtration, and carbon absorption.
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Keywords: agriculture; arsenates; coagulation; ferric chloride; hazardous wastes; lime; pesticides; precipitation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1992-05-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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