Publication Details

Ongerth, J. E. & Hutton, P. E. (1997). DE filtration to remove cryptosporidium. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 89 (12), 39-46.


Laboratory-scale testing investigated the degree of Cryptosporidium oocyst reduction provided by diatomaceous earth (DE) filtration. Three grades of DE from two manufacturers were used in the tests. Reduction was measured using seeded river water applied to Walton test filters. Tests were run for filtration rates of 1 and 2 gpm/sq ft (2.4 and 4.9 m/h). Each run was replicated three times, and quality control was rigorous. Approximately 6 logs of reduction in the concentration of Cryptosporidium oocysts can be expected under routine operating conditions using DE grades having permeability of <1.2 Darcy. Log reductions varied predictably according to the permeability of the DE grade and the filtration rate; they were significantly higher at the higher filtration rate. Agreement was excellent between runs, enabling researchers to distinguish with consistent statistical significance the differences in performance.