Removal of Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. from water supply with high turbidity: analytical challenges and perspectives

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Giardia and Cryptosporidium species are a serious problem if present in water supplies. The removal of these protozoans and the adaptation of existing protocols are essential for supplying drinking water to developing countries. Considering this, the aim of this study is to evaluate, on a bench level, the removal of Giardia spp. cysts and of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts from water with high turbidity, using polyaluminium chloride as a coagulant. Filtration using mixed cellulose ester membranes, followed, or not, by purification through immunomagnetic separation (IMS) was used for detecting protozoans. By evaluating the adopted protocol, without using IMS, retrievals of 80% of cysts and 5% of oocysts were obtained, whereas by using IMS, recoveries of 31.5% of cysts and 5.75% of oocysts were reached. When analyzing the coagulant performance, a dosage of 65 mg L−1 showed contamination from protozoans in all the samples of filtered water. A dosage of 25 mg L−1 presented protozoans in 50% of the filtered water samples. The results showed an improved performance for the 25 mg L−1 dosage; therefore, the control of coagulation and adaptation of detection protocols must be evaluated according to the features of raw water and availability of local resources.

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