Intermittent filtration of bacteria and colloids in porous media

Maria Auset, Arturo A. Keller, François Brissaud, Valentina Lazarova

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Resum

[1] Intermittent filtration through porous media used for water and wastewater treatment can achieve high pathogen and colloid removal efficiencies. To predict the removal of bacteria, the effects of cyclic infiltration and draining events (transient unsaturated flow) were investigated. Using physical micromodels, we visualized the intermittent transport of bacteria and other colloids in unsaturated porous media. Column experiments provided quantitative measurements of the phenomena observed at the pore scale. Tagged Escherichia coli and a conservative tracer (NaI) were introduced in an initial pulse into a 1.5 m sand column. Subsequent hydraulic flushes without tagged bacteria or tracer were repeated every 4 hours for the next 4 days, during which outflow concentrations were monitored. Breakthrough behavior between colloids and dissolved tracer differed significantly, reflecting the differences in transport processes. Advancement of the wetting front remobilized bacteria which were held in thin water films, attached to the air-water interface (AWI), or entrapped in stagnant pore water between gas bubbles. In contrast, the tracer was only remobilized by diffusion from immobile to mobile water. Remobilization led to successive concentration peaks of bacteria and tracer in the effluent but with significant temporal differences. Observations at the pore-scale indicated that the colloids were essentially irreversibly attached to the solid-water interface, which explained to some extent the high removal efficiency of microbes in the porous media. Straining, cluster filtration, cell lysis, protozoa grazing, and bacteriophage parasitism could also contribute to the removal efficiency of bacteria.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’articleW09408
Pàgines (de-a)1-13
Nombre de pàgines13
RevistaWater Resources Research
Volum41
Número9
DOIs
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - d’oct. 2005
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