Use of Ferrate in Small Drinking Water Treatment Systems

EPA Grant Number: R835172
Title: Use of Ferrate in Small Drinking Water Treatment Systems
Investigators: Reckhow, David A. , Rees, Paula , Tobiason, John
Institution: University of Massachusetts - Amherst
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Project Period: December 1, 2011 through November 30, 2014 (Extended to November 30, 2015)
Project Amount: $497,078
RFA: Research and Demonstration of Innovative Drinking Water Treatment Technologies in Small Systems (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Drinking Water , Water


Many small drinking water systems are at a comparative disadvantage due to their size (e.g. limited financial and human resources), and sometimes due to their remote location. The challenge in meeting emerging regulations can be a formidable one. The objective of this project is to test the ability of ferrate oxidation to solve a wide range of water quality and treatment problems faced by small systems. The general working hypothesis is that ferrate is: (1) more effective and less detrimental than existing conventional oxidative technologies such as chlorination, chloramination, and permanganate oxidation, and that it is (2) comparable in performance to advanced technologies such as ozonation or chlorine dioxide oxidation that are more costly, more hazardous or require specialized expertise to operate.


This work will be conducted in laboratory-scale. pilot-scale and full-scale treatment systems. We will be using raw waters from 17 small drinking water systems representing a wide range of quality characteristics and treatment needs. These will be treated in the laboratory (either at UMass or Haskell Indian Nations University) using lab-scale versions of existing treatment processes, both with and without ferrate as a pre/intermediate or post oxidant. depending on the nature of the treatment train. In many cases we will add trace contaminants so as to challenge the system. Conditions (e.g. ferrate dose. pH. etc.) will be established to achieve a range of treatment goals. In 6 of these cases we will establish small-scale continuous flow pilot plants using that same water and larger-scale treatment processes. This will allow us to collect more data on chemical performance while getting data on aspects that cannot be readily investigated at the bench scale (e.g. biological removal sludge production. buildup of filter head loss. Finally, a large & close space in pilot or full- scale until will be installed for final testing.

Expected Results:

The proposed project will result in a document providing guidance for the beneficial use of ferrate in small systems. We will highlight the ways it can be used to improve water quality, lower cost and provide a more sustainable treatment alternative to other technologies. We will also make list of the NIWR centers to help disseminate the information through workshops and various newsletters and publications.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 12 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 6 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

oxidation, costs, NOM, DBPs, PPCPs;

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • 2014 Progress Report
  • Final Report