Membrane fouling is one of the main obstacles that restricts the more widespread application of UF membrane in both drinking water treatment and reclamation of WWTP secondary effluent. Numerous researchers and engineers have devoted to overcome the membrane fouling in the past decade. However, for better addressing the fouling issue, it is necessary to identify the major membrane foulants in different waters as a first step.
In this study, the membrane foulants in three different waters—lake water, river water and WWTP secondary effluent, were investigated simultaneously during a year-long period. Through establishing correlations between relevant membrane foulants and UF membrane fouling, i.e. biopolymers, HS and particulate matter, the major membrane foulants were proposed, their seasonal changes were also evaluated.