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Water Science & Technology Vol 23 No 1-3 pp 261–270 © IWA Publishing 1990

Bacteria and Virus Removal from Secondary Effluent in Sand and Red Mud Columns

Goen E. Ho, Robyn A. Gibbs and Kuruvilla Mathew

Environmental Science, Murdoch University, 6150, Western Australia


Column experiments were conducted to determine the improvement in the removal of Escherichia coli, Salmonella adelaide and poliovirus-1 through sands by amendment with bauxite refining residue. The residue (red mud) was neutralized using 5 % gypsum and incorporated to form 30% of the amended sands. In 65 cm long soil columns the removal of the three organisms in the amended sand columns was excellent with over seven orders of magnitude reduction in concentration. Removal in unamended sands was poor. From breakthrough curves in unamended sand columns filtration, die-off and adsorption all appear to play a role in organism removal. The results also show that E. coli can be used as an indicator for contamination, though S. adelaide was less efficiently removed than E. coli. Poliovirus was on the other hand better removed than E. coli.

Keywords: E. coli; S. adelaide; poliovirus; red mud; sands; breakthrough; secondary effluent; groundwater recharge.

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