BiologicalRemoval of Iron from Groundwater: Preliminary Studies

ReportNo WSAA 32

October 1991




Thereport outlines the sources and types of iron present in groundwater and thechanges in iron species which can occur under different chemical conditions.The nature and behaviour of iron bacteria and their ability to reduce andprecipitate iron from water is discussed. The principle that bacteria likeGALLIONELLA ferruginea can oxidise divalent iron Fe(II), the common type ofiron dissolved in groundwater, to trivalent iron Fe(III), is used to develop abiological iron removal process.


Twopilot plants, one with a single reactor column, detention tank and filter, theother with three columns and filter were tested with a flow rate of 1litre/min. Both plants used GALLIONELLA ferruginea and, after a start up timeof 7-10 days, removed iron from ground water from a level of 2.5-3.0 mg/litreto 0.2 mg/litre.


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