Organic contaminant removal efficiency of sodium bentonite/clay (BC) mixtures in high permeability regions utilizing reclaimed wastewater: A meso-scale study Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Wastewater reclamation now represents an effective measure for sustainable water resource management in arid regions, however wastewater components (organic micropollutants) may potentially impact local ecological and/or human health. Previous studies have shown that sodium bentonite/natural clay (BC) mixes may be used to effectively reduce riverbed infiltration in regions characterized by excessively high hydraulic conductivity. Accordingly, the current study sought to investigate the contaminant removal efficiency (Re) of several BC mass ratios in simulated dry riverbeds. Results indicate that the measured Re of NH4+-N, CODcr and BOD5 increased in concurrence with an increasing sodium bentonite ratio, up to a maximum Re of 97.4% (NH4+-N), 55.2% (CODcr), and 51.5% (BOD5). The primary contaminant removal site was shown to be the infiltration-reducing (BC) layer, accounting for approximately 40%, 60%, and 70% of NH4+-N, CODcr and BOD5 removal, respectively. Conversely, the removal efficiency of NO3-N was found to be low (<15%), while total phosphorous (TP) was found to actively leach from the infiltration-reduction layer, resulting in measured TP discharges 2.4-4.8 times those of initial infiltration values. The current study provides a technical baseline for the efficacy of sodium bentonite as an effective bi-functional material in areas utilizing reclaimed water i.e. concurrent reduction of infiltration rates (Function 1) and decontamination of reclaimed wastewater infiltration/recharge (Function 2). Findings indicate that sodium bentonite-clay mixes may represent a feasible alternative for managing recharge of non-potable aquifers with reclaimed wastewater.


  • Xiao, Yang
  • Li, Yunkai
  • Ning, Zigong
  • Li, Pengxiang
  • Yang, Peiling
  • Liu, Chengcheng
  • Liu, Zhongwei
  • Xu, Feipeng
  • Hynds, Paul

publication date

  • March 2018