Natural organic matter removal by ion exchange at different positions in the drinking water treatment lane
To guarantee a good water quality at the customers tap, natural organic matter (NOM) should be (partly) removed during drinking water treatment. The objective of this research was to improve the biological stability of the produced water by incorporating anion exchange (IEX) for NOM removal. Different placement positions of IEX in the treatment lane (IEX positioned before coagulation, before ozonation or after slow sand filtration) and two IEX configurations (MIEX ® and fluidized IEX (FIX)) were compared on water quality as well as costs. For this purpose the pre-treatment plant at Loenderveen and production plant Weesperkarspel of Waternet were used as a case study. Both, MIEX ® and FIX were able to remove NOM (mainly the HS fraction) to a high extent. NOM removal can be done efficiently before ozonation and after slow sand filtration. The biological stability, in terms of assimilable organic carbon, biofilm formation rate and dissolved organic carbon, was improved by incorporating IEX for NOM removal. The operational costs were assumed to be directly dependent of the NOM removal rate and determined the difference between the IEX positions. The total costs for IEX for the three positions were approximately equal (0.0631 € m −3), however the savings on following treatment processes caused a cost reduction for the IEX positions before coagulation and before ozonation compared to IEX positioned after slow sand filtration. IEX positioned before ozonation was most cost effective and improved the biological stability of the treated water.