Non-steady state simulation of BOM removal in drinking water biofilters: Model development

Raymond M. Hozalski, Edward J. Bouwer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A numerical model was developed to simulate the non-steady-state behavior of biologically-active filters used for drinking water treatment. The biofilter simulation model called `BIOFILT' simulates the substrate (biodegradable organic matter or BOM) and biomass (both attached and suspended) profiles in a biofilter as a function of time. One of the innovative features of BIOFILT compared to previous biofilm models is the ability to simulate the effects of a sudden loss in attached biomass or biofilm due to filter backwash on substrate removal performance. A sensitivity analysis of the model input parameters indicated that the model simulations were most sensitive to the values of parameters that controlled substrate degradation and biofilm growth and accumulation including the substrate diffusion coefficient, the maximum rate of substrate degradation, the microbial yield coefficient, and a dimensionless shear loss coefficient. Variation of the hydraulic loading rate or other parameters that controlled the deposition of biomass via filtration did not significantly impact the simulation results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-210
Number of pages13
JournalWater Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Backwashing
  • Biofilm
  • Biofiltration
  • Rapid filter
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Simulation model

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