Innovative approach for treatment of arsenic contaminated groundwater in Central Europe

B. Petrusevski*, W. Van Der Meer, J. Baker, F. Kruis, S. K. Sharma, J. C. Schippers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Long-term exposure to low arsenic concentrations in drinking water causes different diseases including cancer. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are exposed to arsenic in drinking water. Within Europe, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia are likely most affected. Elevated arsenic concentration has been found in several wells used by the Water Supply Company in Makó, Hungary. Groundwater in southern Hungary typically contains also ammonia, methane, some iron and manganese. Situation is very similar in several other surrounding countries. There are intensive efforts to find affordable approach for treatment of such complex arsenic contaminated groundwater. UNESCO-IHE has been developing an innovative arsenic removal technology (IHE ADART), based on adsorption on iron oxide coated sand (IOCS) and an in-situ regeneration of exhausted adsorbent. The paper presents results from field-testing of the IHE-ADART technology in Southern Hungary. Two pilot plants have been operated at several arsenic-contaminated wells with arsenic concentrations from 20 to 260 μg/l. Very consistent arsenic removal below 10 μg/l was achieved at all testing wells and throughout the 18 months of continuous testing. In addition methane, ammonia, iron and manganese were removed highly effectively. Life cycle cost analysis showed that overall treatment costs would be below 0.10 Euro/m3.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGroundwater Management in the Danube River Basin and other Large River Basins
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameWater Science and Technology: Water Supply
ISSN (Print)1606-9749


  • Adsorption
  • Arsenic removal
  • Filtration
  • Iron oxide coated sand


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