Evaluating the Effects of Alum with Polyelectrolyte Coagulant Aids in Treatment of Low Turbidity Waters

Date of Award

Spring 1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

H. G. Rao

Committee Member

William A. Drewry

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E54S86


Potable water sources usually require treatment for removal of suspended organic and inorganic particles. Conventional treatment processes incorporate chemical coagulants for removal of these suspended particles. Alum is a widely used coagulant that can provide adequate removals of turbidity. However, high alum dosages are required for treatment of low turbidity waters producing a voluminous sludge that is difficult to dewater.

Recent Federal regulations have limited disposal options for chemical sludges. This has prompted a reevaluation of coagulants and their dosages with the goal of reducing the amount of sludge produced and improving the sludge handling characteristics necessary for ultimate disposal.

This study was conducted with surface water samples from the Lee Hall reservoir in Newport News, Virginia. Laboratory jar test procedures, which simulated flow conditions at the Lee Hall Water Treatment Facility, were carried out using alum as a primary coagulant, and a variety of polyelectrolytes as coagulant aids.


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