Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Zanoni, A. E.

Second Advisor

Crandall, Clifford J.


Membrane technologies are rapidly developing processes in water treatment operations. The fact that membranes can provide an absolute barrier to pathogens such as Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts, is significant due to recent outbreaks of waterborne diseases. As a result of these incidents, water quality standards will soon be promulgated to regulate pathogens of concern. Consequently, water treatment plants will be required to optimize or upgrade treatment processes to maximize particulate removal. Included in the optimization of particulate removal is the issue of filter waste washwater (FWW) recycling. The recycle of this waste stream potentially recycles pathogens back to the head of the plant and increases the risk of a breakthrough in the conventional filters. The purpose of this research project was to investigate the use of ceramic microfiltration as a treatment alternative for the FWW from conventional filters at the Oak Creek Water Treatment Plant. The experimental plan included testing at two different fluxes and recovery rates, 250 gallons per square foot per day (GFD) at 90% recovery and 300 GFD at 80% recovery, and operation in constant pressure modes of 5, l0, 20, and 40 psi. It also included tests to investigate the effects of crossflow velocity and backpulse frequency as well as a chemical analysis of the fouling constituents cleaned off the membrane. The primary goal of the testing was to prove that ceramic microfiltration is a feasible alternative that would eliminate the need to recycle the FWW by producing permeate that meets all drinking water standards. Secondary goals of testing were to optimize operating parameters and develop design criteria.



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