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Evaluation of four different tertiary filtration plants for turbidity control

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The County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County operate 10 water reclamation plants (WRPs) for wastewater reclamation and reuse. To comply with State of California's stringent wastewater reclamation criteria, tertiary filtration systems are required at seven of these WRPs. Four types of filters, including mono-medium gravity (activated carbon or anthracite coal), dual-media gravity, and dual-media pressure filters, are used.

A study has been conducted to evaluate and to compare the filters' performance. The study started with evaluating turbidity and suspended solids (SS) removal by using plant operational data. Ratios of SS to turbidity were determined and found comparable among the plants. Although all filters provide good turbidity control, removal efficiencies are different among the filtration systems. Some plausible explanations for the apparent differences in removal are provided.

Particle size distribution (PSD) measurements were made on samples from various locations at the WRPs to provide insights into particle removal. Typical particle size and volume distributions in the wastewater streams were established. Although turbidity and PSD could not be well correlated, particle removals by the four filtration systems were determined for better understanding of their removal mechanisms.

Keywords: filtration; particle size; reclamation; suspended solids; turbidity

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 1994

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  • 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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