Effect of particle size distribution on the removal of color and Escherichia coli in shallow groundwater

Nur Aziemah Abd Rashid, Ismail Abustan, Mohd Nordin Adlan, Mohd Ashraf Mohamad Ismail, Nur Atiqah Ahmad Awalluddin
Received 2015/08/19, Accepted 2016/01/30, Published 2016/03/15

Nur Aziemah Abd Rashid1), Ismail Abustan1), Mohd Nordin Adlan1), Mohd Ashraf Mohamad Ismail1), Nur Atiqah Ahmad Awalluddin1)

1) School of Civil Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

Shallow riverbank groundwater along permanent rivers represents a good water resource. The particle distribution in a soil determines its hydraulic conductivity, which is a critical criterion in the selection of riverbank sites for filtration. Over time, particle size distributions (PSD) may change because of clogging and the weathering of local soil. In this study, the effect of PSD on the removal of color and Escherichia coli (E. coli) from groundwater was investigated. A laboratory scale model was constructed to determine the horizontal hydraulic conductivity of local alluvial soil with different PSD. The results were analyzed on the basis of two factors: (a) different alluvium soils and (b) soil uniformity coefficient (Cu). The alluvial soils (Sands A, B, C, and D) showed hydraulic conductivities ranging from 6.87 × 10–4 m/s to 8.96 × 10–4 m/s. Results indicated that an increase in Cu can improve the removal of color and E. coli. The Sand A, which had a well-graded PSD and the highest Cu value, achieved color and E. coli removal rates of up to 70% and 100%, respectively.

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