Optimizing water treatment practices for the removal of actinomycetes and earthy odor in water of Bovilla reservoir


Department of Biology, Natural Sciences Faculty, Tirana University, Albania.

*Corresponding author e-mail kullajadela@yahoo.com

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Bovilla reservoir, which is situated 15 km North-East of Tirana the capital city of Albania is one of the major hidrotechnical works of this country. This reservoir is a warm monomictic water body and stratifies higher in the summer season. The predominant trophic state of Bovilla reservoir is oligotrophy. From autumn 2001 this reservoir repeatedly manifests an unpleasant taste and odor which is defined as musty- earthy. Taste and odor control has become an important issue for drinking water suppliers worldwide. Consumers react very sensitively to changes in the organoleptic quality of their drinking water. The reason is that odor compounds present a very low threshold of perception (10–20 ng/L). Bovilla water treatment plant treats 1800 L/s raw water taken from Bovilla reservoir, using oxidation, coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection process. In cases of bad odor powdered activated carbon (PAC) is added at the rapid mix section. Throughout the monitoring period were done: quality and sensory analysis of raw water on a weekly frequency, analysis of treated water after coagulation, laboratory scale experiments using different doses of chemicals, applying optimized doses in full scale and PAC adsorption experiments. The aims of this study were: to predict the PAC doses required to treat water of Bovilla reservoir containing bad taste and odor, to establish the removal efficiency of taste and odor by three types of activated carbons with different iodine number and to assess the impact of NaOCl and other chemical in the treatment process of the plant in removing actinomycetes and bad odor. Results have shown that traditional treatment processes are usually inadequate in removing taste and odor and optimization of plant practices is required. Powdered activated carbon (PAC) can effectively remove taste and odor when the correct dose is applied.

Key words: Bovilla reservoir, water treatment plant, actinomycetes, taste and odor, powdered activated carbon 

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