All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Melinda M Lalor

Advisory Committee Members

Robert A Angus

Joe J Gauthier

Jason T Kirby

Robert W Peters

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Public Health


This study was conducted in conjunction with the Birmingham Water Works Board to evaluate Kinetico ceramic filter media against GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) and Sand/Anthracite filters. The Birmingham Water Works Board Water Treatment Pilot Plant was located and operated on the Shades Mountain Filter Plant (SMFP) premises. The evaluation was conducted in three phases: plant matching, plant optimization, and pre-filter testing. The initial phase called for determining the best combination of Kinetico Macrolite Ceramic media to match or outperform the existing Sand/Anthracite dual media filters located at SMFP. At the end of the testing it was determined that 18 inches of the 14/30 mesh ceramic media was the closest match to the existing dual media filters. The turbidity goals were met, but the ceramic media was short of the 48-hour run-time goal currently used for the dual media filters at SMFP. The second phase used the best match ceramic media and exposed it to a myriad of treatment options including but not limited to different coagulation pH’s, different coagulant chemicals, and various polymers. During this phase the ceramic media was filtering the same water that was passing through the Sand/Anthracite filters, and GAC filters. After months of testing and over 70 different treatment conditions, the Kinetico Macrolite Ceramic media maintained its performance relative to Sand/Anthracite filters. During he final phase, the ceramic media was used as a pre-filter for the raw water of a traditional iv treatment plant. This operation was similar to the ceramic media’s main commercial use in direct filtration treatment processes for drinking water. Little advantage was found to result from the pre-filter operation. There was no reduction observed in the Total Organic Carbon levels or uv254 readings for the raw water at SMFP. However, the lower turbidity produced by pre-filtering the water could result in reduced settled turbidity readings during the colder months when appropriately low settled turbidity is difficult to achieve.

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