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Knowledge Base

What is Biofiltration?

Biofiltration, also known as biological filtration or biologically active filtration, refers to the process of allowing microorganisms to colonize water plant filters for the purpose of removing biodegradable compounds from drinking water. Biofiltration has proven to be an effective tool for biochemically oxidizing or reducing a wide range of drinking water contaminants including disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursors, taste and odor, manganese, and select emerging contaminants while maintaining turbidity removal performance of a conventional filter. Biofiltration is being incorporated into a wide variety of treatment schemes including convention treatment, downstream of ozonation, and as a pretreatment for membranes or granular activated carbon.

The Biofiltration Knowledge Base (Knowledge Base) is a compendium of research and practical application information gathered from utilities, universities, manufacturers, and consultants from across North America. The purpose of the Knowledge Base is to provide an easy-to-use resource for utilities interested in knowing more about biofiltration or seeking to optimize the system they already have in operation. This tool provides access to a database of pilot and full-scale biofiltration systems as well as case studies from utilities that have moved through the process of evaluating and implementing biofiltration in their treatment regime. Support material such as a Terminology Guide and References are also provided as a part of the Knowledge Base.


How is Biofiltration Implemented?

The specific objectives of the knowledge base are to:

   • Widely communicate the benefits of high rate aerobic biofiltration.
   • Identify the water quality benefits of biofiltration, while providing lessons learned on mitigating any negative impacts.
   • Provide guidance to utilities to improve the initial design and on-going operations of biofiltration facilities.

To this end, the Knowledge Base has been structured to provide guidance and resources as utilities move through the four phases of implementation.

   • Planning: Aligning treatment alternatives with treatment objectives.
   • Evaluation: Testing at the bench, pilot, and/or demonstration scales.
   • Design: Developing design documents for full-scale implementation.
   • Operation: Monitoring and optimization to reliably achieve treatment objectives.

The icons below provide access to Water Research Foundation (WRF) resources and frequently asked questions (FAQs) relative to each phase of implementation. The menu bar above provides access to case studies, knowledge base reports, and a survey through which utilities may enter their own experiences and biofiltration information.

Planning Phase

Evaluation Phase

Design Phase

Operation Phase