Carbon Treatment of Drinking Water: N.J. Plant Trying to Get Out Bugs

by Eugene E. Dallaire, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1980, Vol. 50, Issue 1, Pg. 64-67

Document Type: Feature article


The federal Environmental Protection Agency wants drinking-water plants in the U.S. to install granular activated carbon treatment. Such would remove synthetic organics in the water. There's been much debate about the technical and economic feasibility of carbon treatment. Shedding some light is the Passaic Valley Water Commission (Clifton, N.J.), most experienced utility in carbon treatment in the U.S. Their findings: carbon treatment is not yet a proven technology technically or economically; a key problem is moving carbon from the contactor to regeneration furnace automatically; toxics coming out of the contactor sometimes have greater concentrations than those going in; carbon is corrosive, thus demands careful attention to materials. Other people say carbon treatment is now an established technology and that the U.S. should now move ahead.

Subject Headings: Water treatment | Carbon fibers | Drinking water | Federal government | Economic factors | Granular materials | Activated carbon | Feasibility studies

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