Transport and Retention of a Bacteriophage and Microspheres in Saturated, Angular Porous Media: Effects of Ionic Strength and Grain Size
Eight saturated column experiments were conducted to examine the effects of solution chemistry and grain size on the transport of colloids through crushed silica sand. Two sizes of colloids, 0.025-μm bacteriophage (MS-2) and 1.5-μm carboxylated microspheres, were used as surrogates for the transport of pathogenic viruses and bacteria, respectively. Increasing the Ca2+ concentration from 1 to 4.8 mM (along with background monovalent ions) resulted in complete attenuation (>6-log decrease in C/C0) of MS-2, but caused only a 1-log reduction (C/C0 = 0.1) in the concentration of the microspheres. Decreasing grain size from medium sand (d50 = 0.70 mm) to fine sand (d50 = 0.34 mm) resulted in substantial decreases in effluent concentrations of both the MS-2 (5-log decrease) and microspheres (>2.5-log decrease). Comparison of observed colloid retention to that predicted by a recently published correlation equation for colloid filtration revealed that the model can considerably underpredict (by 4 orders of magnitude or more) colloid retention by angular sand over distances as short as 20 cm. This indicates that state-of-the-art colloid filtration models are still limited in applicability to natural systems.
Larry McKay, Peter S. K. Knappett, Monica B. Emelko, and Jie Zhuang. "Transport and Retention of a Bacteriophage and Microspheres in Saturated, Angular Porous Media: Effects of Ionic Strength and Grain Size" Water Research 42.16 (2008): 4368-4378.