Filter Media Overview
- Urbans Aqua stocks filter media for quick shipment.
- Filter media types are various and often specific to applications.
- Urbans Aqua works closely with manufacturers of media to understand media limitations and practical application.
- When introducing new products, we connect the manufacturer to dealers across to country to measure the perceived results against actual.
The anthracite coal used for filtration is primarily mined in Northeast Pennsylvania. Anthracite is a harder and cleaner than bituminous coal making it an ideal component in filtration configurations. (Bituminous coal is commonly used for the manufacture of activated carbon.)
- Anthracite is seldom used as a singular filtration media. Combined with sand it is in-depth filtration; combined with garnet, sand and gravel it is a multi-media filter.
- Anthracite has no chemical properties which enable it to remove or react with contaminants. Its purpose is mechanical filtration.
- Anthracite has no temperature limits.
- Anthracite can be used in place of filter sand in applications sensitive to silica.
- An “anthracite cap” is often used in greensand applications to capture iron and manganese precipitates.
- Anthracite sub-fill is not recommended for granular activated carbon (GAC) filters if carbon reactivation is planned.
- Use anthracite filter media certified to meet AWWA Standard B-100 and NSF/ANSI Standard 61.
Birm™ is one of several medias which reduce iron and manganese. Birm acts as the catalyst to enhance the reaction between dissolved oxygen and iron compounds. This oxidative reaction changes soluble iron (clear water iron) Fe++ to Fe+++, insoluble iron. It produces ferric hydroxide which precipitates and is easily filtered.
Under the right conditions, there are no chemicals required for maintenance and regeneration is not required. Iron removal efficiency is very high, only periodic backwashing is required and it has a long life and wide temperature range.
However, like other iron removal medias, Birm™ is not a “one size fits all”. The manufacturer notes the following operating conditions prior to applying:
- Alkalinity should be greater than two times the combined sulfate & chloride concentration.
- Temperature range 35-1000F.
- pH range – 6.8-9.0; for best results:
- Iron 6.8-8.5
- Manganese 8.0-9.0
- Dissolved Oxygen content equal to at least 15% of the iron and 29% of the manganese content.
- Free chlorine concentration less than 0.5 ppm
- Hydrogen Sulfide should be removed prior to contact.
- No Oil or Polyphosphates present
- TOC less than 5 ppm
Neutralization of drinking water with pH values lower than 7 is critical to consumer health. Low pH water can cause potential leaching of copper, lead and other metals. Homeowners should be aware of greenish stain in ceramic bowls caused by copper piping. The EPA banned lead solder in 1986. Homes built prior to 1986 may have exposure to lead compounds in solder or drinking water fixtures. Since copper piping is not easily replaced, neutralization of low pH water is imperative.
Georgia Marble is a brand name for high quality, potable water grade calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate increases the pH of acidic water. The chief advantage of the Georgia Marble neutralizing media is its ability to dissolve slowly and not overcorrect the pH.
- The system should have a gravel sub-fill.
- It requires periodic backwashing to prevent packing of the media.
- Neutralizer tanks generally include a “dome hole” to enable water treatment professionals to refill the system.
- We recommend using an almond or natural fiberglass tank. The consumer can simply shine a flashlight against the tank to measure the height of dissolving Georgia Marble.
- Georgia Marble will increase hardness. Post treatment with a water softener may be necessary.
- Dealers should have consumers with neutralizers on a strict maintenance schedule to avoid the effects of low pH.
- Calcium Carbonate is also known as Calcite.
- Not all calcium carbonate products are safe for drinking water. Make sure it is tested and certified to WQA Gold Seal or NSF/ANSI Standard 60.
Corosex® (Magnesium Oxide)
“Mag Oxide”, on a per weight basis, can neutralize five times more acidity than calcium carbonate. It is combined with Georgia Marble (calcium carbonate) in applications where the starting pH is lower than 5.5.
The combination of the two is generally referred to as “Low pH Mix” and comes in a variety of ratios.
- Mag Oxide will increase hardness. Post treatment with a water softener may be necessary.
- Upflow service is recommended when hardness exceeds 5 grains.
- Downflow service works when mag oxide is combined 50-50 with calcium carbonate (Georgia Marble).
- Use an in-line filter ahead of an upflow system to prevent plugging of the lower distribution screen.
- Backwash frequently to prevent possible cementing.
- Gravel support bed suggested.
Filter-Ag® is silica, crystalline quartz media. It is commonly used in sediment filters for the reduction of suspended solids down to the 20-40-micron range. Filter-Ag® filters can be positioned ahead of softeners.
It is also very good at trapping the fragile iron flock that forms after soluble or dissolved iron is oxidized via aeration, ozonation and chlorination.
- Replacement of sand with Filter-Ag® in existing installations may increase capacity by 100%. Adjust for its light weight before start up. Sand is 100 lbs. per cubic foot. Filter-Ag® is 25 lbs. per cubic foot.
- Its larger particle size creates less pressure drop and allows deeper sediment penetration into the bed for higher sediment loading and longer filter runs.
- Filter-Ag® systems have a smaller footprint and require less water.
- Shipping cost is lower than comparable, high density products.
Filter Ag Plus®
Filter Ag Plus® is clinoptilolite, an environmentally friendly, all-natural media. When used in deep bed filtration Filter Ag Plus® can reduce suspended solids down to 5 microns or less.
- Filter Ag Plus® -Single media can be used to replace multimedia filter designs.
- Filter-Ag Plus® systems have a smaller footprint, use less water and cost less to ship.
GreensandPlus is a proven technology for iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, and arsenic removal. GreensandPlus is an exact replacement for Manganese Greensand.
See GreensandPlus filter media technical data sheet
Unlike Greensand, GreensandPlus can regenerated with chlorine, not just potassium permanganate.
Intermittent Regeneration (Regenerate, place in service) Point of Entry Residential Applications
- Soluble iron and manganese are removed by contact oxidation directly on the GreensandPlus grains.
- GreensandPlus directly oxidizes sulfide and catalyzes the oxidation reaction. The resultant precipitates are removed by filtration in the GreensandPlus bed.
- Regenerate prior to the exhaustion of the GreensandPlus is recommended
Continuous Regeneration – Municipal Applications
- According to the manufacturer, “in some installations, better performance may be achieved by oxidizing soluble iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide and arsenic prior to the GreensandPlus filter”.
- Continual feed of chlorine ahead of the filter causes the contaminants to oxidize and drop out of solution. The GreensandPlus then filters out the contaminants.
- It is necessary to maintain a chlorine residual throughout the process.
- May be used as a direct replacement for GreensandPlus.
Pyrolox® media is effective for the reduction of iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide.
See Pyrolox filter media technical guide sheet
Regular backwashing is essential for long-term success.
- Pyrolox® weighs 120 pounds per cubic foot. The suggested backwash rate is 18-25 gpm/sq.ft.
- Oxidant injection upstream of the Pyrolox® filter is strongly recommended. Chlorine, air injection, and potassium permanganate are acceptable.
- Sub-fill is necessary – Garnet weighs slightly more than Pyrolox® and is acceptable.
Sand is believed to have been the first filtration media. For water treatment filtration, it must be washed, graded and certified for potable water use. Silica sand from New Jersey is shipped world-wide. Its sub-angular form is conducive to superior filtration.
- Simple “sand filters” usually have multiple layers.
- Sand has no chemical properties which enable it to remove or react with contaminants. Its purpose is mechanical filtration.
- 1/4” x 1/8” gravel is often referred to as “pea gravel” because its size is approximately the same as a pea.
- The configuration for a standard sand filter is
- Sub-fill – 1/4” x 1/8”
- Middle Layer – 1/8” x 1/16” (sometimes referred to as 6 x 14 mesh)
- Top Layer – .45-.45 mm
- Pool filter sand is .45-.55 mm.
- Use sand/gravel filter media certified to meet AWWA Standard B-100 and NSF/ANSI Standard 61.
KDF® Media are high-purity copper-zinc granules. The REDOX, (exchange of electrons), reaction removes chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, soluble heavy metals and microorganisms from water.
- KDF®55 is used to remove the chlorine in municipal or city water.
- KDR®85 effectively removes ferrous iron and hydrogen sulfide. It may be used alone or to protect existing water filters.
- Daily backwashing is required. Otherwise the media may become fouled.
MTM® reduces iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide. It has a lightweight core with a coating of manganese dioxide. It is like GreensandPlus because it is regenerated with chlorine or potassium permanganate but it is lighter in weight.
Continuous or intermittent regenerations are required to maintain its oxidizing capacity.
- Low pH, lack of an oxidant such as chlorine will lead to media destruction.
- Maximum practical limits:
- Iron – 15 ppm
- Manganese – 5 ppm
- Hydrogen Sulfide – 2 ppm