The influence of differing sand media on the performance of the Manz BioSand Filter

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Quarry sand was better than river or ocean sand in the first months after filter installation, but by one year there was no difference.
TitleThe influence of differing sand media on the performance of the Manz BioSand Filter
Publication TypeUnpublished
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsDuke, W, Mazumder, A
AbstractThe biosand filter is an affordable household water treatment system appropriate for use in many developing countries. Sand derived from crushed rock is recommended for the filter but is not always locally available. This study compares the performance of twelve biosand filters, four each using sand media from three different sources: ocean beach, river beach, and rock quarry. Twenty liters of contaminated pond water was put through each filter for twenty consecutive days. Turbidity and E. coli counts for source and filtered water samples were recorded. All nine "mature" filters functioned well in lowering turbidity and removing E. coli, and no significant difference in performance based on sand type was identified. In the three recently-installed filters, the quarry sand performed better than the other two. Sedimentation before filtration improved performance and decreased maintenance. Disinfection of filtered water is necessary if the goal is to remove 100% of the E. coli.

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