Life Sciences


Dr. Richard Rediske


Arsenic is a common pollutant in many developing countries and has been linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease. In this research, biosand filters (BSFs) were modified with iron filings to remove arsenic from contaminated water. Six BSFs (three with 1 kg of iron filings and three without iron filings) were simultaneously dosed with 20 liters of Muskegon Lake water that contained 100 μg/L of arsenic for 30 days. Arsenic concentrations were determined using a HACH low range arsenic test kit. The mean arsenic removal rate for all 3 BSFs with iron filings was 100% for 13 days, but later was reduced to 60% as one of the unit’s flow decreased. Mean arsenic removal in BSFs without iron filings started at 50% and declined to 0% after 14 days as the natural iron in the sand was saturated with arsenic. The arsenic removal rate for all BSFs with iron filings was ~94% and ~22% without. Iron filings are a common waste product and our results suggest they may be useful in removing arsenic from water.

Additional Files

PamphletHonorsSeniorProject.pdf (689 kB)
Arsenic Biosand Filters in Developing Countries

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