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The effects of nutrients on natural organic matter (NOM) removal in biological activated carbon (BAC) filtration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-199
Number of pages4
JournalActa Hydrochimica et Hydrobiologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Effective biodegration of organic compounds is one of the major objectives while optimizing biological drinking water treatment processes. Enhancing the biological activated carbon (BAC) filter performance with nutrient addition was studied using chemically pre-treated and ozonated lake water. Three parallel pilot-scale biofilters were operated: one with phosphorus addition, one with a mixture of inorganic nutrients addition, and one as a reference. The addition of nutrients has no statistically significant influence on the natural organic matter (NOM) removal when monitored by total organic carbon (TOC), UV absorbance, and assimilable organic carbon (AOC). However, the addition of nutrients significantly increased the heterotrophic plate count (HPC) bacteria of the filter effluent, while the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) analysis of the attached bacteria did not show any increase in BAC filters. It seemed that in BAC filters the bacterial growth was limited by phosphorus, but the increased bacteria could not attach themselves during the relatively short acclimatization period.


  • Biological drinking water treatment, Granular activated carbon, Natural organic matter, Nutrients, Phosphorus