Limestone-Based Material for Arsenic Removal From Drinking Water

EPA Contract Number: 68D03064
Title: Limestone-Based Material for Arsenic Removal From Drinking Water
Investigators: Williamson, Terrence E.
Small Business: HydroTech Engineering
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: October 1, 2003 through December 31, 2004
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2003) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Water and Watersheds , SBIR - Water and Wastewater


Arsenic contamination of drinking water is a major problem in many areas of the United States and throughout the world. The problem has been highlighted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to mandate reduction of arsenic's maximum contaminant level from 50 ppb to 10 ppb by 2006. Current remediation technologies are expensive; thus, lowering the standard will put significant economic pressure on rural and small public water supply communities with high levels of arsenic in their drinking water. Urgent action is needed to address this problem.

The proposed research has the potential to reduce arsenic in drinking water at the source or point-of-use (POU), with the added benefit of low-cost disposal of a stable and benign waste product in ordinary landfills or as a concrete additive. The Phase I research project conducted during the past year by HydroTech Engineering demonstrated arsenic removal of greater than 95 percent by limestone and limestone-based media. The development of an inexpensive remediation technology that will significantly concentrate the arsenic onto limestone media is anticipated. This technology also will be suitable for third-world countries, such as Bangladesh, where arsenic contamination in drinking water is at crisis levels.

This Phase II research project will seamlessly proceed from the Phase I results. Two market areas have been identified for potential commercialization opportunities: individual water users and public/small water utility systems. During Phase II, HydroTech Engineering will: (1) produce, evaluate, and demonstrate prototype cartridges for POU systems; (2) incorporate dopants to increase media efficacy; (3) demonstrate the long-term stability of spent media; and (4) benchmark competing technologies, such as granulated ferric hydroxide, against HydroTech Engineering systems. As a precursor to commercialization and certification, field trials with the POU cartridges will be conducted on a well with 70 ppb arsenic in the community of Keystone, SD.

In addition to these goals, and as a way to define product entry into the marketplace, commercialization and marketing plans will be refined during Phase II. Consultation with commercialization specialists also is planned. A Commercialization Optional Proposal has been requested to address the potential commercialization of a point-of-source product for the public/small water utility user. Field trials and a demonstration of the unit are planned at the Keystone site.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, drinking water, arsenic, water supply systems, limestone, contamination, point-of-use, POU, concrete, granulated ferric hydroxide, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Water, POLLUTANTS/TOXICS, Environmental Chemistry, Arsenic, Chemicals, Risk Assessments, Environmental Monitoring, Physical Processes, Water Pollutants, Drinking Water, hybrid sorbent, exposure, arsenic monitoring, arsenic removal, human exposure, point of use, other - risk management, contaminant removal, drinking water treatment, human health, water treatment, arsenic exposure, human health risk

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • SBIR Phase I:

    Limestone-Based Material for Arsenic Removal From Drinking Water  | Final Report