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doi:10.3808/jeil.201900009
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Investigation of Maintenance Impacts on Flow Rates in Ceramic Disc Water Filters

E. McBean1 *, C. Farrow1, T. Preston1, A. L. Yang2, H. Y. Cheng2, Y. C. Wu2, Z. Liu2,Z. N. Dai2, H. Y. Fu2, J. Beauchamp1, R. Beutel1, and G. H. Huang3

  1. School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada
  2. School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Xiamen University of Technology, Xiamen 361024, China
  3. Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2, Canada

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 519-824-4120; E-mail address: mcbean@uoguelph.ca (E. McBean).

Abstract


While many low-tech drinking water treatment technologies have been developed in an effort to improve delivery of safe drinking water to low income populations in the developing world, a continuing challenge for ceramic water filters (CWFs) is the deterioration over time of flow rate throughput. While the initial flow rate may be acceptable, significant declines in the flow throughput take place in the absence of a maintenance regime. In response, attaining more acceptable long-term performance is critical, to ensure adequacy of volumes to low income populations and imperative that improved guidance for the end-user as to the frequency and impact of cleaning regimes which is currently deficient in the literature be made available. This study describes research into the flow throughput trends of ceramic water filters and concludes that brushing the external surface of a CWF every 2 ~ 3 days maintains acceptable flow rates (> 1 L/h) for extended periods of time (average over 2.5 years of acceptable performance). An average lifetime throughput volume of 7308 L was observed; corresponding to a per area lifetime throughput volume of 9.7 L/cm2 (for a 20 cm dual disc apparatus with surface area = 648 cm2). While many low-tech drinking water treatment technologies have been developed in an effort to improve delivery of safe drinking water to low income populations in the developing world, a continuing challenge for ceramic water filters (CWFs) is the deterioration over time of flow rate throughput. While the initial flow rate may be acceptable, significant declines in the flow throughput take place in the absence of a maintenance regime. In response, attaining more acceptable long-term performance is critical, to ensure adequacy of volumes to low income populations and imperative that improved guidance for the end-user as to the frequency and impact of cleaning regimes which is currently deficient in the literature be made available. This study describes research into the flow throughput trends of ceramic water filters and concludes that brushing the external surface of a CWF every 2 ~ 3 days maintains acceptable flow rates (> 1 L/h) for extended periods of time (average over 2.5 years of acceptable performance). An average lifetime throughput volume of 7308 L was observed; corresponding to a per area lifetime throughput volume of 9.7 L/cm2 (for a 20 cm dual disc apparatus with surface area = 648 cm2).

Keywords: ceramic water filter, cleaning regime, drinking water, maintenance options


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