A Low Maintenance System for Removal of Iron and Manganese from Contaminated Groundwaters

Sapsford, D.J. and Williams, K.P., Cardiff School of Engineering, Cardiff University, UK


Cardiff University have developed and tested a novel system for removing iron and manganese from
groundwaters. The system, originally designed to treat contaminated groundwater from mines, is
completely ‘passive’ in as much as there are no requirements for external power or treatment
chemicals. The 27 m2 pilot‐system treated groundwater which was contaminated with an average
7.2 mg/L iron and 0.7 mg/L manganese. The data generated indicate that the system typically
displayed iron and manganese removal of >95% for flow rates up to 1 L/s for a period of 11 months,
with minimal intervention or maintenance. Contaminant removal in the system is attributed to 1)
filtration of particulate iron 2) autocatalytic oxidation of iron and manganese, and 3) microbiologically
mediated removal. The ease of construction and low maintenance nature of this system’s operation
could make this technology valuable for remote regions where iron and manganese removal is
required but power and chemicals are not readily available.

Key Words
Iron, Manganese, Autocatalysis, Water Treatment

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