Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) to the Technological University Dublin, September, 2009.


The supply of safe drinking water is a major worldwide problem. In the developed world the frequency of water related problems are increasing The shortage of fresh water supply is as a result of pollution from industrial, agricultural and natural disasters. To make water suitable for human consumption, it must first be treated. However, consumers do not always receive potable water even after public treatment. In some cases the consumer must treat the water being supplied to them, or have to source their own water from private wells and treat it prior to use. The purpose of this research was to develop a water treatment unit, that may be used for re-treating "mains" supplied water or water abstracted from private wells. In the case of re-treating water, the unit reedisinfects the water. This ensures that all pathogenic bacteria has been neutralised. In the case of treating well water, the main focus of this work is the removal of dissolved iron, followed by disinfection. The main application for this unit is mainly for single house operation under following parameters, That the treatment is carried out without the use of chemicals It is simple to maintain It can be constructed from readily available components It is inexpensive to build and operate It is small and compact Prior to designing and building the prototype test unit samples of ferruginous and bacteriologically contaminated water were first sourced. These samples were aerated to oxidise the dissolved iron out of solution to form solid particles, which could then be filtered out. Testing of various types of granular filter media was then carried out to ascertain their suitability, these tests were carried out in different filter body configurations in order to quantify flow rates of the water. This information was then used as a tool to aid the design of suitable filter units. Typically these samples were used directly from the source, in the case of ferruginous contamination. Samples of The bacteriologically contaminated water were taken from the source, some were processed through the treatment system, while the remainder were left untreated. The samples were delivered to the testing laboratories, as "before and afier treatment" within the specified time limit, generally delivered within 3-4 hours. Activated carbon filters were also used to remove the taste and odour associated with ferruginous water. The final stage of the treatment was disinfection, carried out by the use of ultraviolet radiation. Based on results obtained for various treatments undertaken, the water treatment unit developed for this research has proven to be a satisfactory method of producing potable water for domestic drinking and use. While the design of this unit concentrates on single dwelling application, it is possible that the unit could be expanded to treat small groups of dwellings.