Virus removal by ceramic pot filter disks: Effect of biofilm growth and surface cleaning

Mona Y.M. Soliman*, Doris van Halem, Gertjan Medema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


Ceramic pot filters are household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) systems designed to improve the microbial quality of drinking water. They yield high log reduction values (LRVs) for bacterial and protozoan pathogens but provide very little removal of viruses. This study investigated virus removal of ceramic filter discs (CFDs), using feed water with 3 different nutrient levels under extended continuous operation and limited cleaning frequency. The results show that filter use without cleaning resulted in biofilm growth and MS2 LRV values increased with increasing feed water nutrient content. Cleaning the filter surface by scrubbing led to a partial or total loss in improved LRVs, indicating the importance of this biological top layer to the removal of MS2. Overall, the removal capacity of a matured biofilm remained constant, regardless of its age. MS2 LRVs ranged between 0.9 ± 0.2 LRV for low nutrient (LN), 1.6 ± 0.2 LRV for medium nutrient (MN) and 2.4 ± 0.5 LRV for high nutrient (HN) biofilms. Interestingly, a change in feed conditions for the HN filters resulted in an unprecedented high LRV of >4 LRV, which supports further investigation of the mechanistic role of biofilms in virus removal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113438
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Biofilm
  • Ceramic pot filters
  • Drinking water
  • Household water treatment
  • MS2 bacteriophages
  • Viruses


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