Household slow sand filters in intermittent and continuous flows to treat water containing low mineral ion concentrations and Bisphenol A

Lyda Patricia Sabogal-Paz, Luiza C. Campos, Anna Bogush, Melisa Canales

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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Household slow sand filter (HSSF) has been used as an alternative to drinking water treatment in rural communities worldwide; however, its performance to treat influent water with quality similar to rainwater still needs further studies. Rainwater presents low pH and slight mineral ion concentrations, an aspect that can modify the filter media and consequently the HSSF efficiency. Furthermore, house roofs used in rainwater harvesting can be made of plastic. Therefore, it can introduce chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA) in the water. In this context, two pilot-scale HSSFs operated in continuous and intermittent flows were evaluated to treat water containing BPA and low mineral ion concentrations in order to assess the filter performance. Filter media leaching was noticed in the trials; thus, filter media and construction material selection must be carefully evaluated to eliminate risks of pollutant occurrence in drinking water. Operational differences between continuous and intermittent flows influenced the HSSF efficiency for BPA and DOC removals; even so, the filters’ performance was low probably due to the slow schmutzdecke development. According to tracer test results, HSSF can be classified as a plug flow reactor and strategies to improve its hydraulic performance are not required.
Original languageEnglish
Article number135078
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date1 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Science of the Total Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Science
of the Total Environment, 702, (2019) DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135078

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives 4.0 International


The authors acknowledge the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Brazil, under Grant 17/02512-0 for the support to this work.


  • Biosand filter
  • Decentralised treatment
  • Drinking water
  • Endocrine disruptor
  • Rainwater

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