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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Coagulation–Flocculation Treatment Using Aluminum Sulfate on a Polluted Surface Water Source: A Year-Long Study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jie ZhangORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2024 by the authors.Safeguarding drinking water is a major public health and environmental concern because it is essential to human life but may contain pollutants that can cause illness or harm the environment. Therefore, continuous research is necessary to improve water treatment methods and guarantee its quality. As part of this study, the effectiveness of coagulation–flocculation treatment using aluminum sulfate (Al2(SO4)3) was evaluated on a very polluted site. Samplings were taken almost every day for a month from the polluted site, and the samples were characterized by several physicochemical properties, such as hydrogen potential (pH), electrical conductivity, turbidity, organic matter, ammonium (NH+4), phosphate (PO43−), nitrate (NO3−), nitrite (NO2−), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), total hardness (TH), chloride (Cl−), bicarbonate (HCO3−), sulfate (SO42−), iron (Fe3+), manganese (Mn2+), aluminum (Al3+), potassium (K+), sodium (Na+), complete alkalimetric titration (TAC), and dry residue (DR). Then, these samples were treated with Al2(SO4)3 using the jar test method, which is a common method to determine the optimal amount of coagulant to add to the water based on its physicochemical characteristics. A mathematical model had been previously created using the support vector machine method to predict the dose of coagulant according to the parameters of temperature, pH, TAC, conductivity, and turbidity. This Al2(SO4)3 treatment step was repeated at the end of each month for a year, and a second characterization of the physicochemical parameters was carried out in order to compare them with those of the raw water. The results showed a very effective elimination of the various pollutions, with a very high rate, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the Al2(SO4)3. The physicochemical parameters measured after the treatment showed a significant reduction in the majority of the physicochemical parameters. These results demonstrated that the coagulation–flocculation treatment with Al2(SO4)3 was very effective in eliminating the various pollutions present in the raw water. They also stress the importance of continued research in the field of water treatment to improve the quality of drinking water and protect public health and the environment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tahraoui H, Toumi S, Boudoukhani M, Touzout N, Sid ANEH, Amrane A, Belhadj A-E, Hadjadj M, Laichi Y, Aboumustapha M, Kebir M, Bouguettoucha A, Chebli D, Assadi AA, Zhang J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water

Year: 2024

Volume: 16

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 25/01/2024

Acceptance date: 24/01/2024

Date deposited: 26/02/2024

ISSN (print): 2073-4441

Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)


DOI: 10.3390/w16030400


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