Water Science and Engineering 2017, 10(2) 115-124 DOI:   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2017.05.002  ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

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Low-cost activated carbon
Integrated adsorption-sand filtration
Roof-harvested rainwater
Lake water
Water security
Riffat Shaheed
Wan Hanna Melini Wan Mohtar
Ahmed El-Shafie
Article by Riffat Shaheed
Article by Wan Hanna Melini Wan Mohtar
Article by Ahmed El-Shafie

Ensuring water security by utilizing roof-harvested rainwater and lake water treated with a low-cost integrated adsorption-filtration system

Riffat Shaheed, Wan Hanna Melini Wan Mohtar*, Ahmed El-Shafie

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bandar Baru Bangi 43600, Malaysia


Drinking water is supplied through a centralized water supply system and may not be accessed by communities in rural areas of Malaysia. This study investigated the performance of a low-cost, self-prepared integrated activated carbon and sand filtration (CACSF) system for roof-harvested rainwater and lake water for potable use. Activated carbon was self-prepared using locally sourced coconut shell and was activated using commonly available salt rather than a high-tech procedure that requires a chemical reagent. The filtration chamber was comprised of local, readily available sand. The experiments were conducted with varying antecedent dry intervals (ADIs) of up to 15 days and lake water with varying initial chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration. The CACSF system managed to produce effluents complying with the drinking water standards for the parameters pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), COD, total suspended solids (TSS), and ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N). The CACSF system successfully decreased the population of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the influents to less than 30 CFU/mL. Samples with a higher population of E. coli (that is, greater than 30 CFU/mL) did not show 100% removal. The system also showed high potential as an alternative for treated drinking water for roof-harvested rainwater and class II lake water.

Keywords Low-cost activated carbon   Integrated adsorption-sand filtration   Roof-harvested rainwater   Lake water   Water security  
Received 2016-07-22 Revised 2017-03-05 Online: 2017-04-30 
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2017.05.002

This work was supported by the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Grant (Grant No. GUP-2014-077).

Corresponding Authors: Wan Hanna Melini Wan Mohtar
Email: hanna@ukm.edu.my
About author:


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