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Aggregate Industries improves water quality by supplying slowfil sand

  • 26 Jul 2017

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Garside Sands is helping to improve the water quality Glenfarg Water Treatment Works by supplying over 2,800 tonnes of Slowfil Sand.

The water treatment works supplies drinking water to over 180,000 customers in the Fife area, and purifies water using the slow sand filtering method.

Garside Sands, part of Aggregate Industries, was able to fulfil the requirement of a quality sand that would meet the acute industry standard for size, grading and colour, required to help with the production of safe drinking water.

Slow sand filtering takes place in a sand-filled container, in which the sand is initially submerged in water. The water allows the top layer of wet sand to gradually develop a biological ‘film’ made up of living organisms such as algae and bacteria. After this, the water filtration process can begin.

The surface biofilm is the layer that provides the most effective purification as the living organisms essentially ‘eat’ or attach to pathogens in the water, effectively stopping them from flowing down through the sand.

As water travels down – due to the natural pull of gravity – the underlying sand continues to provide a level of biological treatment, which lessens as the water reaches the bottom most layer of sand.

Brian McCulloch at Ross-Shire Engineering, who installed the system at Glenfarg Water Treatment Works said: “Garside Sands was fantastic in working closely with us and understanding what it was that we needed. They were able to provide a finely graded sand, which offered the right level of permeability to manage the removal of microorganisms and, so far, we are really pleased with the result.”

Grace Cosby, Sales Representative at Garside Sands, said: “If the sand is of high quality, we know that there filters can produce water that has a 90-99% bacterial cell count reduction. As such, we ensured that we spent the right amount of time in developing a sand that would help to both enhance and maintain the quality of water that slow sand filters will continue to produce for years to come.”

Garside Sands range has a high silica content, grain she and naturally occurring colour range. It’s exported all over the world for applications including water filtration, brick manufacture, energy processing and sports pitches.

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