Optimization of the coagulation process at the Carvins Cove Water Treatment Plant

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The overall process of water treatment is a compilation of various unit processes including: aeration, disinfection, the mixing of chemicals, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration. The arrangement of these various unit processes into different treatment configurations provided the basis for laboratory-scale experimentation in which the zeta potential, turbidity, alkalinity, and pH were monitored to determine the optimum operating mode for the Carvins Cove water treatment plant in Virginia during June and July, 1979.

Results indicated that none of the treatment configurations tested produced significantly different results. Marginal improvement in turbidity removal was accomplished when alum was added after aeration rather than before aeration. The use of aeration did not significantly affect the coagulation process. Rapid mixing of the alum with a jar test apparatus did not significantly affect the turbidity removal achieved. The cationic polymer, CatFloc T, did not reduce the low turbidity of the raw water.