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Title:Effects of installing point-of-use filters intended for lead removal on drinking water quality
Author(s):Clark, Gemma Giovanna
Advisor(s):Nguyen, Thanh H
Contributor(s):Liu, Wen-Tso
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Environ Engr in Civil Engr
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Drinking water
point-of-use filtration
residual chlorine
Abstract:Defects in the aging drinking water distribution system can lead to elevated concentrations of toxic metals and harmful microorganisms that pose a risk to human health. Premise plumbing systems can be sites of elevated lead concentrations from lead service lines and are favorable environments for biofilm-forming opportunistic pathogens. To comply with state law requiring no more than 5 parts per billion (ppb) of lead in school drinking water, school administrators installed point-of-use (POU) filters made of activated carbon and ion exchange media in classroom sinks. Before and after common stagnation periods at the school (e.g., overnight, over-the-weekend), water samples were collected from a spigot where water enters the school and from sinks with and without POU filters. Lead, residual chlorine, particles (0.1-50 µm), bacteria, temperature, pH, and total organic carbon were measured. Lead concentrations in all unfiltered samples were below 2.25 ppb, but post-stagnation, over half of filtered samples exceeded 5 ppb. The filters effectively removed free chlorine (99% reduction), and residual chlorine decayed with stagnation. There were higher concentrations of particles and bacteria in filtered samples than in unfiltered samples, especially post-stagnation. Neither of the opportunistic pathogens tested for (Legionella pneumophila and Mycobacterium tuberculosis) were detected. Temperature increased with stagnation, pH decreased with filtration, and total organic carbon was steady across all sample conditions. Installing new filters did not significantly change the filters’ effects on lead concentrations, free chlorine removal, or particle counts. This study revealed that the POU filters in this school did not remove lead after a stagnation period. Filters removed residual chlorine throughout their one-year lifetimes and trapped particles and bacteria which were then released after stagnation. A 5-minute flush of filtered taps reduced lead concentrations, particles, and bacteria.
Issue Date:2020-07-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Gemma Clark
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08

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