402587 - Improving access to safe water using Riverbank Filtration Technology

Wednesday, June 6
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Lakeshore B

Riverbank filtration (RBF) is a proven water treatment technology that permits the abstraction and treatment of surface water. Under favorable hydrogeologic conditions, the RBF water quality can meet local drinking water quality standards, particularly with regards to water-borne pathogens that might cause gastrointestinal diseases. Because installing and maintaining a RBF water treatment system is less expensive and technologically much less challenging compared to other water treatment technologies, such as reverse osmosis, RBF might be a suitable for use in parts of the developing world were other technologies are out of reach to the local population. In this study, we installed four RBF systems in rural areas along the Krishna River in southern India. Hydrogeologic investigations and frequent water sampling campaigns were conducted along with detailed household surveys of the approximately 20,000 villagers served by our RBF systems. The overarching objective of this research is to analyze the effect of RBF water supply on the health of the villagers. This presentation highlights the challenging hydrogeologic conditions in this part of India on the background of the preliminary hydrogeoechemical results from this ongoing study. Our data indicates that while RBF attenuates bacteria pollution, the excessive use of fertilizer and unsustainable irrigation practices has polluted the local groundwater to an extent that might prohibit RBF use in the affected areas.

Thomas Boving, PhD

Professor - Environmental Hydrogeology
University of Rhode Island

Dr. Boving is a Professor of Environmental Hydrogeology at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Kingston, USA. He is appointed to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Geosciences. He received his PhD in Hydrology and Water Resources Management from the University of Arizona, Tucson USA. His Diploma in Geology is from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He worked as an environmental consultant in Germany before joining URI. Dr. Boving has received several awards and published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He co-authored a book on the fate and transport of contaminants in the subsurface, titled “Contaminant Hydrogeology” (3rd Ed). His areas of research include innovative water treatment technologies, riverbank filtration, and stormwater quality. Dr. Boving is the director of Water:E2S2, which is a consortium of experts addressing global water issues from the engineering, economic, science and social perspective. Dr. Boving conducted research in Africa, Asia, and Europe and currently works with The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) in India on several water treatment projects.


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402587 - Improving access to safe water using Riverbank Filtration Technology

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