Benchmarking granulated active carbon treatment during drinking water production
Research Project , 2019 – 2020

Continued supply to sufficient safe drinking water is a prerequisite for the strong growth. This relies on a climate robust, chemically and microbiologically safe and thus technical advanced treatment chain. Since 2015, after two outbreaks of water borne illnesses and discovery of recently unknown chemical compounds, the food agency obliges the water treatment plants (WTP) to analyze and remediate weak points in their treatment. Many WTP are currently adding the microbiological barriers requested. In comparison little attention is given to chemical risks. Many large WTP are equipped with granulated active carbon (GAC). Besides improving odor and taste and producing biostable water, GAC could act as a chemical barrier. High concentrations in humics, very significant costs of replacement and the absence of knowledge on quantitative methods for estimating chemical barrier and biological filter function are today major obstacles.This project aims at supplying the necessary knowledge and practical tools on how to analyze and improve GAC chemical barrier function and prolonged GAC runtime. We will study GAC filter function using state-of the art chemical and biological analysis (LC-MS/MS, qPCR and fluorescence) in lab, pilot and plant scale GAC filters. Knowledge will be disseminated through conferences, papers and workshops organized within the DRICKS and SafeDrink project that includes all relevant stakeholders such as food agency, water producers, researchers and technicians


Kathleen Murphy (contact)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Water Environment Technology


Lund University

Lund, Sweden

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)

Uppsala, Sweden



Project ID: Formas
Funding Chalmers participation during 2019–2020

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