IWA Publishing

Algal control and enhanced removal in drinking waters in Cairo, Egypt


Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Algal blooms at the major water treatment plants in Egypt have been reported since 2006. While previous studies focused on algal types and their correlation with disinfection by-products, correlation between raw water quality and algal blooms were not explored. Therefore, a survey of Nile water quality parameters at a major water intake in the Greater Cairo Urban Region was conducted from December 2011 to November 2012. Bench-scale experiments were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the conventional chloride/alum treatment compared with combined Cl/permanganate pre-oxidation with Al and Fe coagulants during the outbreak period. Addition of permanganate (0.5 mg/L) significantly reduced the chlorine demand from 5.5 to 2.7 mg/L. The applied alum coagulant dose was slightly reduced while residual Al was reduced by 27% and the algal count by 50% in the final treated waters. Applying ferric chloride and ferric sulfate as coagulants to waters treated with the combined pre-oxidation procedure effectively reduced algal count by 60% and better the total organic carbon reduction and residual aluminum in the treated water. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to identify the relationship between water quality parameters and occurrence of algae and to explain the impact of coagulants on the final water quality.

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