Subdue Arsenic Content with Multiple Approach in River Water

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Authors: Muhammad Azroie Mohamed Yusoff1*, Nor Salmi Abdullah1, Jamilah Karim1, Noor Haza Fazlin Hashim1, Nor Aslinda Awang2 and Nasehir Khan E.M. Yahaya1

1Makmal Kualiti Air (Water Quality Laboratory), National Water Research Institute of Malaysia, Malaysia
2Makmal Hidraulik dan Instrumentasi (Hydraulic and Instrumentation Laboratory), National Water Research Institute of Malaysia, Malaysia

Corresponding author: Muhammad Azroie Mohamed Yusoff

Email : [email protected]


Higher arsenic concentrations in Sg Rui and Sg Perak have become a major concern for Gerik residents. The river water has always been the source of drinking water and also a source of income for the local community. But now it is suspected that tin mining activities on the upper stream causes arsenic problem at concentrations higher than the safe limit set by the Department of Environment and Ministry of Health and has become an emerging concern for water supply and health related issues. The purpose of this paper is to assess the water quality status of both locations above where complaints have been received. Comparative evaluation of treatments such as coagulation, adsorption by activated carbon, degradation by enzymes, removal by magnetized nanoparticles and filtration by sand media has been done. Detection of arsenic contents in water treatment analysis was determined by using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) based on the standard method APHA 3120B. The test shows that the mean level of arsenic contents in the samples is more than 0.25 mg/L which is higher than 0.01 mg/L permitted by the standards. The comparison revealed that sand-filtration has better removal efficiency for arsenic removal from the mean levels of 0.35 mg/L up to 99.9% of reduction. This simple and affordable process of removal can be used to accommodate clean water for the public. A larger scale field test is currently underway.

Keyword : arsenic, water quality, water treatment, drinking water, sand-filtration

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