Slow Sand Filtration

Definition - What does Slow Sand Filtration mean?

Slow sand filtration refers to a process of water purification and filtration that uses sand and beneficial microorganisms. In slow sand filtration, contaminated water moves through a sand filter, where it is biologically treated. Slow sand filtration is one way growers, especially hydroponic growers, can organically treat their water before giving it to their plants.

There are two types of slow sand filtration: rapid and slow.

MaximumYield explains Slow Sand Filtration

The difference between rapid sand filtration and slow sand filtration is not just a matter of speed, but lies in the entire concept behind each filtration system.

Rapid sand filtration is a physical treatment of water often used in swimming pools and garden ponds, whereas slow sand filtration is used for biological drinking water treatment.

Through slow sand filtration, both sediment and dangerous pathogens are removed. Because the water moves slowly through the sand, the microorganisms present in the sand help to break down the water's toxins.

Slow sand filters are biologically treated in order to grow the microbiological organisms that feed on organic waste. The slow filtration systems enable these bacteria to break down the microscopic organic waste, while the sand filter itself removes the solid waste.

Slow sand filtration is mostly used for water purification at water treatment facilities and landfills, but it can also be used in the home for gardening and for use in hydroponic systems. It is a preferred method of treatment because it allows the natural biological process to treat water, rather than chemicals.


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