Emerging mitigation needs and sustainable options for solving the arsenic problems of rural and isolated urban areas in Latin America - a critical analysis

Bundschuh, Jochen and Litter, Marta and Ciminelli, Virginia S. T. and Morgada, Maria Eugenia and Cornejo, Lorena and Hoyos, Sofia Garrido and Hoinkis, Jan and Alarcon-Herrera, Ma. Teresa and Armienta, Maria Aurora and Bhattacharya, Prosun (2010) Emerging mitigation needs and sustainable options for solving the arsenic problems of rural and isolated urban areas in Latin America - a critical analysis. Water Research, 44 (19). pp. 5828-5845. ISSN 0043-1354


In this work, current information about the contamination of ground- and surface-water resources by arsenic from geogenic sources in Latin America is presented together with possible emerging mitigation solutions. The problem is of the same order of magnitude as other world regions, such as SE Asia, but it is often not described in English. Despite the studies undertaken by numerous local researchers, and the identification of proven treatment methods for the specific water conditions encountered, no technologies have been commercialized due to a current lack of funding and technical assistance.Emerging, low-cost technologies to mitigate the problem of arsenic in drinking water resources that are suitable for rural and urban areas lacking centralized water supplies have been evaluated. The technologies generally use simple and low-cost equipment that can easily be handled and maintained by the local population. Experiences comprise (i) coagulation/filtration with iron and aluminum salts, scaled-down for small community- and household-scale-applications, (ii) adsorption techniques using low-cost arsenic sorbents, such as geological materials (clays, laterites, soils, limestones), natural organic-based sorbents (natural biomass), and synthetic materials. TiO2-heterogeneous photocatalysis and zerovalent iron, especially using nanoscale particles, appear to be promising emergent technologies. Another promising innovative method for rural communities is the use of constructed wetlands using native perennial plants for arsenic rhizofiltration. Small-scale simple reverse osmosis equipment (which can be powered by wind or solar energy) that is suitable for small communities can also be utilized.The individual benefits of the different methods have been evaluated in terms of (i) size of the treatment device, (ii) arsenic concentration and distribution of species, chemical composition and grade of mineralization in the raw water, (iii) guidelines for the remaining As concentration, (iv) economical constrains, (v) complexity of installation and maintenance, and infrastructure constraints (e.g. electricity needs).

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Agricultural, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2014 02:05
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 00:11
Uncontrolled Keywords: arsenic; decentralized water supply; emerging remediation methods; isolated urban areas; Latin America; Rural areas; water resources
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2010.04.001
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26182

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