Removal of Arsenic from Drinking Water (SEER 1)

EPA Grant Number: R827683E02
Title: Removal of Arsenic from Drinking Water (SEER 1)
Investigators: Moller, Gregory , Crawford, Donald L. , Crawford, Ronald L.
Institution: University of Idaho
EPA Project Officer: Hunt, Sherri
Project Period: August 15, 1999 through August 14, 2002
Project Amount: $261,443
RFA: EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: EPSCoR (The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research)


The objective of the proposed research is to develop an effective, affordable reactor design and media for use in iron co-precipitation to remove arsenic from drinking water. Co-precipitation is a well-known technology, but is limited by cost and complexity when iron must be added, followed by coagulation and filtration, and disposal of adsorbed arsenic and adsorbent waste. The proposed reactors utilize ferric iron media as filtration/adsorbent surfaces to remove arsenic to acceptable levels ( <5 J.lg-As/L), while greatly decreasing the need for costly serial processing and waste disposal.


Ferric iron, either bound in a solid-phase, Fe(III)-modified biopolymer (polyaspartate ), or shed from iron metal granules, will be applied as arsenic complexation substrates. Both substrates will act as filtration/adsorbent media, and will be tested in an intermittent fluidization-filtration reactor and a rotating tube filtration reactor. Novel reactor configurations will improve the kinetics of arsenic adsorption. Both reactors will be developed and tested at the laboratory scale, prior to the construction of field-scale demonstration units for full-scale testing.

Expected Results:

The reactors are designed to function with low maintenance requirements and at low cost, thereby alleviating the problems of high cost, maintenance, and waste generation associated with currently available technologies. Systems can be scaled to a variety of user needs (small communities to large population centers). The successful completion of this research will lead to more effective and more economically viable technology for removing arsenic from drinking water in the United States.

Improvements in Risk Assessment or Risk Management: The availability of effective, low-cost technology for removing arsenic from drinking water in the United States will lead to better management of American water resources for the protection of citizens against the present reality and dangers of chronic arsenic poisoning.

Supplemental Keywords:

media, adsorption, human health, carcinogen, toxics, treatment, innovative technology, EPA Regions 1 through 10, metals, metalloids., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Geographic Area, Water, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Arsenic, State, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Water Pollutants, Drinking Water, iron reagents, Idaho (ID), drinking water treatment facilities, co-precipitation, sand filtration, arsenic removal, drinking water distribution system, drinking water contaminants, drinking water treatment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000
  • 2001
  • Final Report