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Assessment of Grey water quality by using modified sand filter.


Because of the scarcity of potable water, treated wastewater potentially provides an alternative source for irrigation, flushing, and gardening. Besides that, the wastewater is treated to remove pollutants that can be reused for various purposes. The traditional method of treating wastewater is sand filtration. The main advantage of filtration process is that the ability to upkeep high concentration of microorganism resulting in high removal rate. Filtration technology is a low-cost treatment technology based on physical process to treat wastewater contaminants like color, odor, hardness, BOD, COD and suspended solids etc. for a wide range of application in domestic as well as industrial activities. Due to rapid industrialization and development, there is an increased opportunity for Grey water reuse in developing countries.

Grey water can be defined as any domestic waste water produced, excluding sewage. In other words the residential grey water is a mixture of all water discharges from the household including bathroom sinks, bathtubs, kitchen sinks, and laundry wash-water sources. Grey water may contain disease causing organisms (bacteria, viruses, protozoa) from nappies and other soiled clothing and chemicals from soaps, shampoos, dyes, mouthwash, toothpaste, detergents, bleaches, disinfectants and other products.

The proposed study was made to assess the use of alternate materials for sand such as sugarcane bagasse and rice husk. There have been several researches carried out in improvement of sand filter performance and showed the performance improvement when adding the materials are use in the form of activated carbon. Therefore, this study is aimed to compare the quality of wastewater produced from conventional sand filter with modified sand filter based on characteristic concentration such as BOD, COD, suspended solids, turbidity and pH. In this paper, an attempt has been made to assess the filter performance using natural absorbents as filter media in its original state.

Objective Of The Study:

The present study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of Filtration for Grey water treatment with specific objectives:

* To determine the characteristics of grey water before and after treatment.

* To evaluate the performance of various natural absorbents as filter media.

* To assess the feasibility on reuse of filtered grey water for irrigation purpose.

Review Of Literature:

The following literature gives an elaborate awareness on potential of grey water reuse, required levels of treatment, and assessment methods of wastewater quality. Also, various research papers demonstrated the setup procedure of pilot scale plant for multimedia filters using natural absorbents.

A. Surya pushkar singh, Nursat ali, Sabih Ahmadand Dr.J.K.singh and Manoj kumar:

This research paper discussed the treatment of grey water. The paper also gave the information about the different composition of domestic grey water. The various technologies involved in grey water treatment in 1970-1990 such as membrane bio- reactors and cheaper extensive technologies such as reed beds and ponds. The purpose of paper is to know how the grey water is effectively treated using low cost activated carbon, bark and charcoal filter, sand filtration, rice husk ash, fly ashes.

B. Lambe J.S, Chougule R.S.:

In this research paper, the study of grey water treatment such as the manual bucketing of grey water from the outlet of bathroom, to primary treatment methods that coarsely screen oils, greases and solids from the grey water. They discussed about the aerobic, anaerobic and combination of aerobic and anaerobic process. The works generally focus on Primary treatment (Screening, Equalization tank) Secondary treatment-I (Gravel filter, Sand filter) Secondary treatment-II Broken brick, Charcoal, Chlorination).

C. Islamuddin, Nusrat Ali, Imran Ahmad and Yusuf Jamal:

This paper presents the study of domestic wastewater treatment using multimedia filter. An experimental model of GI sheet was designed for a family according to census of India, 2011 & BIS and then developed. The domestic wastewater was collected from local drainage system. The compartments were packed with Sugarcane Bagasse, Activated Carbon, Sand and Grass mulch in down flow regime respectively. They showed that the experimental filter model significantly assists in the removal of BOD, COD, TSS, TDS, DO, Hardness, Electrical Conductivity and improves the pH quality of the effluent.

D. Saad F.N.M, Jamil M.N, Odli Z.S. Mand Izhar T.N. T:

In this paper, investigation on the potential of sand filter as a pre-treatment of wastewater was done in Kangar wet market, Perlis. This study aims to compare the quality of wastewater produced from conventional sand filter with modified sand filter which added with activated carbon based on BOD,COD, suspended solid, AN, turbidity and pH. There were four types of sand filtrations used in this study. There were sand filtration consist only fine and course sand, sand filtration with additional of rice husk, sand filtration with additional of coconut shell and sand filtration with additional of rice husk and coconut shell.

E. Rajarshi Kar, Oindrila Gupta:

In this research paper, study on the analysis of removal of dye and color pigments (such as ethanaminium) from grey water on synthetic activated carbon. The present work generally focus on the recycle of grey water that is produced from the bathroom, laundry, shower, basin, kitchen (dish washing), which can be recycled on site for uses such as Irrigation, constructed wetland, toilet flushing etc.

F. Tsun-Kuo Chang Abeer Albalawneh:

A review of those processes that grey water characteristics and various treatment technologies with the aim of coming up with the schematic of grey water recycling system designed specifically for restricted agricultural irrigation reuse It also discussed the treatment systems such as physical greywater treatment systems, chemical greywater treatment systems and natural grey water treatment systems.


To fulfill the objectives of the study, the following methodology was adopted.

A. Preparation of Filter Media:

The materials prepared for the filter include Fine Sand, Rice husk and sugarcane bagasse.

1) Sugarcane Bagasse:

The sugarcane bagasse was collected from local juice shop. The bagasse is first washed thoroughly with tap water and grinded in home mixer. After that, it was soaked in 0.1 M HCL solution for 15-18 hours. After that, it was dried in oven for 2 hours.

2) Rice husk:

Rice husk was collected from rice mill in Madurai. For preparation, it was clean thoroughly with water to remove the dust and then it was dried in oven for 100-110 degree Celsius.

B. Preparation of Sand Filter:

Four numbers of sand filters were constructed in transparent glass rectangular columns. The dimensions of the each column are 700 mm of height, 300 mm x300 mm of plan dimensions. A sloping arrangement was made and a hole was created at the bottom of the slope. A half inch tap was fitted in that hole as a channel for effluent. A plastic net was placed at in between every layer of filter media.

Fine sand and coarse sand are the filter media for all filters, size of fine sand is less than 0.7 mm; coarse sand is 0.7-6 mm. Drainage layer was made of pebbles having their size more than 6 mm.

In the first conventional sand filter, the first layer was filled with pebbles in the sloping area. Next coarse sand was about first 100 mm thick. Preceding that, next 200 mm thick was filled with the fine sand. Finally, the coarse sand was again filled for 100 mm thick. In second and third filters, the 200 mm fine sand layer was divided into 100 mm of fine sand and another 100 mm was filled with Sugarcane Bagasse and Rice Husk respectively.

The combination filter was consisting of coarse sand, fine sand, sugarcane bagasse, rice husk and coarse sand of top layer. All the layers were set as 80 mm thickness.

C. Experimental study:

For our study, 10 liters of wastewater was allowed to flow through various filtration units containing various combinations of filter media. After maintain a detention period of 2 hours, the effluent of each tank was collected for testing and analysis. In this study, six parameters including pH, Turbidity, Bio-chemical Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand, Total Suspended Solids, and Total Hardness were tested. All procedures of the tests were according to American Public Health Association (APHA).


The results obtained after the testing of various quality characteristics are as follows:
Table I: Comparison Of Grey Water Characteristics Before And After

                                         After Filtration

S.   Parameters     Units   Before       Sand   Sand +
No                          Filtration          Bagasse

1    pH             --      7.1          7.63   6.67
2    Turbidity      NTU     37           7.4    10.8
3    Total Solids   mg/l    473          95     265
4    Total          mg/l    378          56     180
5    Biochemical    mg/l    146          62     94
6    Chemical       ml      257          102    158
7    Total          mg/l    423          300    256

     After Filtration

S.   Sand +   Sand +      Removal
No   Rice     Bagasse +   Efficiency (%)
     Husk     Rice Husk   Combined Filter

1    7.73     6.93        --
2    11.1     9.7         73
3    336      224         49
4    226      175         53

5    98       74          66

6    197      128         51

7    318      239         44

All the combinations of filter media exhibited stable range of pH.

The most influential factor for turbidity removal efficiency in the raw water is particle sizes and distribution. In this regard, conventional sand showed significantly greater removal efficiency when compared with other filter combinations.

Filter efficiency also depends on the concentration of suspended solids. Conventional sand filter media exhibited higher efficiency in removal of both Total solids and Total suspended solids.

Colour removal is fair to poor and in some cases it requires a large area of land for effective treatment. It can handle only relatively low strength wastes compared to conventional methods. This is the disadvantage of filters over conventional methods in removal of colour.

The characteristic result of Total Hardness in filter media containing rice husk and sugarcane bagasse performed significantly well with 45% when compared with other combinations of filter media.


From the study made to evaluate the performance of filter media by ascertaining the quality of treated effluent, following conclusions were made;

* The performance of the various combinations of filter media were evaluated based on the quality of treated effluent.

* From a detailed review of Literature, filter media with natural adsorbents in the form of activated carbon achieved comparatively significant results.

* However, in this study, the use of natural adsorbents (absence in the form of activated carbon) obtained results with considerable removal efficiency.

* Other than sand filter, the turbidity is removed 73% in the combined filter, with 49% BOD removal efficiency, also with the removal efficiencies of 53% and 66% for total solids and total suspended solids.

* The Total Hardness is found with better removal efficiency only in the combination filter when compared with other filters.

* To meet the various challenges involving water crises throughout the world, considering the point that the majority of easily accessed water resources are surface water resources, by applying self reliant processes, which are economic important, the mentioned process such as filtration by natural absorbents, certainly has scope to be studied to facilitate the reuse of treated grey water in developing countries.


We would like to thank our supervisor Mr. S. Krishna Prashanth, for guiding us throughout the project with motivation and encouraging us to attain the objectives of this study.


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[2.] Ajay kumar, Kalyani Mohanta, Devendra Kumar and Om Parkash, 2012. "Properties and Industrial Applications of Rice husk" International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering, 2.

[3.] Saad, F.N.M., M.N. Jamil, Z.S.M. Odli and T.N.T. Izhar, 2016. "Study on Modified Sand Filtration Towards Water Quality of Wet Market Waste Water " MATEC Web of Conferences Issue.

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[5.] Islamuddin, Imran Ahmad, Nusrat Ali, Yusuf Jamal, 2016. "Treatment of Domestic Wastewater by Natural Adsorbents Using Multimedia Filter Technology "International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Engineering Research (IJETER) 4: 4.

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[9.] Momdouh, S. Masoud, Wagi M. EI-Saraf, Ahmed M. Adbol-halim, Alaa E. Ali, Essam A. mohammwd, Hamad M.I. Hasan, 2012. "Rice husk and activated carbon for waste water treatment of EI Mex Bay, Alexandria coast Egypt. "Arbian journd of chemistry.

[10.] Mota Manoj, H., S. Chougule Shashiraj, M. Bhosale Gopal, 2014. "Improvement of Performance of Rapid Sand Filter using Coconut Shell as Capping Media "International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) 3: 6.

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(1) Naveen P.R., (2) Viswanathan A., (3) Santhosh Kumar S.B., (4) Shanmugabalan S., (5) Krishna Prashanth S.

(1,2,3,4) Department of Civil Engineering, PSNA College of Engineering & Technology, Dindigul.

(5) Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, PSNA College of Engineering & Technology, Dindigul.

Received 28 January 2017; Accepted 22 March 2017; Available online 28 April 2017

Address For Correspondence:

Naveen P.R., Department of Civil Engineering, PSNA College of Engineering & Technology, Dindigul


Caption: Fig. 1: Methodology Flow chart

Caption: Fig. 2: Combined filter arrangement.
Fig. 3: Comparison of Grey water Characteristics

             TSS   BOD   Total Hardness

RAW WATER    378   146   423
CSF          56    62    300
S+S.B        180   94    256
S+R.H        226   98    318
S+S.B+ R.H   175   74    239

Note: Table made from bar graph.
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Author:Naveen, P.R.; Viswanathan, A.; Kumar, S.B. Santhosh; Shanmugabalan, S.; Krishna, Prashanth S.
Publication:Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
Date:Apr 30, 2017
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