Source Water and Microfiltration Plant Manganese Control Study

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Journal of the American Water Works Association






American Water Works Association


A combined field and laboratory manganese study was conducted for the Startex-Jackson-Wellford-Duncan Water District in Wellford, S.C. Through source water characterization, it was found that biochemical processes in the river affected manganese concentrations more than any processes in the lake feeding the river. Because measures taken in the lake would not control manganese at the plant intake, in-plant treatment was required. Bench-top experiments evaluated three treatment trains: potassium permanganate (KMnO4) direct oxidation followed by microfiltration (MF), manganese-coated media bed before MF, and manganese-coated media bed after MF. All processes removed manganese, with the media bed processes consistently achieving < 0.004 mg/L and KMnO4 oxidation reaching as low as 0.008 mg/L Mn. Turbidity, organic carbon, and trihalomethane formation potential removals were comparable, but the process of media bed following the filter exhibited the highest rate of membrane fouling. This study provides a holistic understanding of manganese source and treatability that should prove useful to utilities with similar manganese issues.