State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008DE128B
Title: Zero-valent Iron and Other Additives to Enhance Biofiltration of Water
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: At-large
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Treatment, Toxic Substances
Keywords: safe drinking water, zero-valent iron, low cost technologies, developing countries
Principal Investigators: Vaicunas, Rachael ; Chiu, Pei
Federal Funds: $ 1,750
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 3,500
Abstract: Slow sand filtration of water through zero-valent iron and other additives has been shown to be an effective, inexpensive means to remove contaminants and inactivate viruses. Current filters use a bed of sand to separate bacteria from water. The "schmutzdecke" (biolayer) removes most of the impurities, keeping bacteria out of the treated water. However, some viruses can get through the sand, causing contamination. These viruses cause illnesses such as hepatitis A and intestinal disorders. Metallic iron, known as zero-valent iron, provides a chemical process also shown by past work to remove some contaminants and to inactivate the viruses in water. In this project, zero-valent iron will be combined with the sand to determine whether it can inactivate viruses and provide a safer source of water as well as making the water taste desirable. This research will be in conjunction with the UD Student Chapter of "Engineers without Borders" an organization that is working to provide safe drinking water in Cameroon, Africa. The overall goal is to develop a filter that will inactivate harmful viruses and provide a viable source of water for people both locally and in third world countries.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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