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USE OF NATURAL COAGULANTS IN THE WATER TREATMENT PROCESS

SCHOOL OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND RESOURCE ENGINEERING

NYAMWEYA NYAMONGO SAMSON

REG. NO.: EECQ/00502/2011

A PROJECT REPORT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE


REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING IN CIVIL
ENGINEERING, TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF KENYA

MAY, 2015

DECLARATION
I SAMSON NYAMONGO NYAMWEYA do solemnly declare that this report is my original
work and to the best of my knowledge, it has not been submitted for any degree award in any
University or Institution.

Signed: ,

Date:

EECQ/00502/2011

CERTIFICATION
I have read this report and approve it for examination

Signed:,
Prof. George Thumbi

Date:

DEDICATION
I dedicate this project to my dear parents, brother, sisters and my family who have had
confidence in me. Thank you for your unrivaled support and prayer throughout my education.
Josephat Nyamweya and Zipporah Buyeke you have been a good brother and sister. I highly
appreciate your patience and assistance.
And mostly, the Lord who set the path for me to follow with all the challenges, He has been with
me.
Most gratitude goes to my wonderful supervisor, Professor George Thumbi who dedicated his
time to guide me throughout the period and helped me out when I was stuck with his generous
encouragement.
Thank you all and many blessings from the Almighty.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This work would not have come to completion without the support and encouragement of many
people.
First of all I wish to sincerely thank my supervisor, Professor George Thumbi for accepting me
as his student and for his technical guidance and valuable discussions. He has been continuously
encouraging and motivating me during the years of my study. His concern and support in
personal matters is very much appreciated.
I am deeply indebted to Engineers Muli and Aura that have generously shared their time ,
enthusiasm and knowledge. Our discussions and their positive criticism and optimism have
always been a great source of inspiration for me and their confidence in me has been very
stimulating. In a special way, I acknowledge Engineer Ajigoh for introducing me to research
techniques that were so much beneficial throughout my research project.
Special thanks are due to Dr. Okwadha, the chairman of Civil and Construction Engineering
Department for the wonderful assistance in administrative and personal matters. I would also like
to give special thanks to Musau for sustained assistance and useful discussions in the laboratory.
The group at Water Resources Management (WARMA) Laboratory deserve special thanks for
the wonderful hospitality. Special thanks are due to J. Olum and Mr. Kanyonyi for tirelessly
helping and facilitating the laboratory work. I enjoyed the splendid company and friendship of
my colleagues.
My deep gratitude goes to my parents, brother and sisters who have always been supporting and
encouraging me throughout my study.

Finally I wish to express my gratitude to my beloved wife, Rosephella, who unsparingly


encouraged and supported me during all these years. I sincerely appreciate the effort and skill she
showed in taking care of our son Brennan.`LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
NTU

Nephelometric Turbidy Units

RPM

Revolutions per Minute

COD

Chemical Oxygen Demand

WHO

World Health OrganizationABSTRACT

The treatment of water with the common inorganic coagulants have a number of
disadvantages such as cost of chemicals (especially for developing nations), and sludge
management among others. Studies have been carried out on powder obtained from the grinding
of soya beans, cowpeas, and ordinary beans to find out their suitability as an alternative to the
use of inorganic and synthetic coagulants. These natural coagulants been found to be effective
for high turbidity waters. The crude form has been used for water clarification on small scale in
some parts of the developing world. The main drawback of the crude extract is that it adds
organic and nutrients to the treated water. This has hindered the use of the natural coagulants in
large scale water treatment.
This study investigated the effectiveness of soya beans, cowpeas, and ordinary beans as natural
coagulants for the removal of turbidity from natural surface water. The results obtained were
compared with inorganic coagulant of aluminium sulphate. Sample water obtained from River
Ndarugu was used for jar test experiments. The results showed the
effectiveness of soya beans for turbidity removals of up to 80.3% for an initial turbidity of 84.3
NTU.
Turbidity removal was comparable to that of Aluminium sulphate for the initial turbidity of 83.4
NTU. The mixing intensity was kept constant at 65 RPM and settling time was set at 30 minutes
for consistency.

Contents
DECLARATION............................................................................................................. ii
CERTIFICATION............................................................................................................ ii
DEDICATION............................................................................................................... iii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS............................................................................................... iv
List of Tables.................................................................................................................. x
List of Figures................................................................................................................. x
CHAPTER ONE.............................................................................................................. 1
INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................ 1
1.1 Background information............................................................................................ 1
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT.......................................................................................... 2
1.3 STUDY JUSTIFICATION.......................................................................................... 3
1.4 STUDY OBJECTIVES.............................................................................................. 3
1.4.1 Main objective................................................................................................... 3
1.4.2 Specific objectives.............................................................................................. 3
CHAPTER TWO............................................................................................................. 4
LITERATURE REVIEW................................................................................................ 4
2.1 PORTABLE WATER TREATMENT AND QUALITY OF WATER.......................................4
2.2 PARAMETERS FOR DRINKING WATER QUALITY......................................................4
2.2.1 Turbidity.......................................................................................................... 4
2.2.2 Bacteriological quality......................................................................................... 4
2.2.3 Hardness.......................................................................................................... 5
2.2.4 pH and alkalinity................................................................................................ 5
2.2.5 Organic content.................................................................................................. 6
2.2.6 Ions, conductivity and total dissolved solids (TDS)......................................................6
2.2.7 Heavy metals and toxic substances..........................................................................7
2.2.8 Recommended values for drinking water..................................................................7
2.3 Treatment process to obtain safe water...........................................................................8
2.3.1 Screening......................................................................................................... 8
2.3.2 Coagulation and flocculation.................................................................................8
2.3.3 Separation........................................................................................................ 9

2.3.4 Filtration........................................................................................................ 10
2.3.5 Post-alkalinisation and post-chlorination.................................................................11
CHAPTER THREE........................................................................................................ 12
METHODOLOGY..................................................................................................... 12
3.1 Preparation of coagulant and raw water........................................................................12
3.2 Jar tests............................................................................................................... 12
3.2.1 Turbidity........................................................................................................ 12
3.2.2 Temperature.................................................................................................... 13
3.2.3 Measurement of pH........................................................................................... 14
CHAPTER FOUR.......................................................................................................... 15
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS.................................................................................... 15
4.1.

Results using Soya Beans (Glycine max)..............................................................15

4.2

Results using Cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata)..........................................................17

4.3

Results using Ordinary Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)..................................................18

4.4

Results using Aluminum sulphate (alum)..............................................................20

CHAPTER FIVE........................................................................................................... 22
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................22
5.1

CONCLUSION............................................................................................. 22

5.2

RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................................. 23

References................................................................................................................... 24

List of Tables
Table 1. Recommended values in drinking water..........................................................................17
Table 2: coagulation results using Soya beans extract...................................................................26
Table 3: coagulation results using Cowpeas extract......................................................................28
Table 4: coagulation results using Ordinary beans extract............................................................29
Table 5: coagulation results using Alum........................................................................................30

List of Figures
Figure 1: environmental concern caused by sludge of alum.........................................................13
Figure 2: Sample of raw water that was used in the jar test experiment.......................................24
Figure 3: graphical representation of coagulation using Soya beans extract.................................27
Figure 4: clear water obtained when soya beans powder was used as a coagulant.......................28
Figure 5: graphical representation of coagulation using Cowpeas extract....................................29
Figure 7: graphical representation of coagulation using Alum......................................................32

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background information
Safe drinking water is a necessary resource for mankind, and availability of safe and clean
drinking water is a major challenge that is facing the world. In order to provide potable water
either from surface or ground water sources, numerous treatment procedures have to be carried
out to remove the various contaminants. When surface water is the source for raw water,
turbidity removal becomes necessary in the treatment process in order to remove the tiny
suspended particles. In order to achieve the objective of providing safe and clean water to the
largest population possible, strong and efficient methods must be used (Richardson, S. D., &
Ternes, T. A. 2011).
In Kenya, most water treatment facilities which provide urban and rural areas with drinking
water use aluminum sulfate, (Al2 (SO4) 3.18H2O) as a coagulant for the removal of turbidity in
the water treatment process. However, according to the recent studies that have been carried out,
various extracts from plants have been found to be effective in the coagulation process thus
providing a substitute for the metal salts. Use of these various natural coagulants gives many
advantages, such as reducing the overall cost of the treatment process, reducing the quantity of
sludge produced from the treatment process and avoiding the tedious procedures involved in
importation from other countries. The shortcoming that may arise from the use of these natural
coagulants is that the concentration of nutrients is increased. They at times increase the COD of
the water (Futi, et al. 2011).
Therefore, the aim of the project is to analyze the use of various natural coagulants as substitutes
to aluminum sulfate for the water treatment process in Kenya and come up with a procedure for
the preparation, use and the right quantity of natural coagulant to be used for water treatment.

1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT


Turbidity brings about a serious challenge in the water treatment process. Suspended and
colloidal matter such as clay and silt and other microscopic organisms are responsible for turbid
water. Surface water has high levels of turbidity and therefore coagulants have to be used to
improve water quality by reducing turbidity. Aluminum salts are commonly used for coagulation
in the water treatment process. Use of alum has raised a public health concern because of the
large amount of sludge produced during treatment and the high level of aluminum that remains in
the treated water. Also in developing countries, these inorganic coagulants have to be imported
thus making them expensive (Fahmi, et al. 2011).

Figure 1: environmental concern caused by sludge of alum

1.3 STUDY JUSTIFICATION


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of natural coagulants in the removal of
turbidity to improve water quality. The optimum amount to be added for various turbidity levels
will also be determined.
Potable water management challenges are increasingly common. Increase in industrialization and
poor agricultural practices have led to reduced water quality. This is because many surface water
sources are found in agricultural, domestic and industrial areas. An analysis of turbidity in
surface water will allow the researcher to come up with turbidity reduction measures that can be
undertaken to restore the quality of water.
1.4 STUDY OBJECTIVES
1.4.1 Main objective
Use of natural coagulants to reduce turbidity in the water treatment process.
1.4.2 Specific objectives
To evaluate the effectiveness of using natural coagulants on turbidity reduction in surface

water.
To determine the optimum amount of natural coagulant to be added for turbidity removal.

CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 PORTABLE WATER TREATMENT AND QUALITY OF WATER
There are various contaminants that pollute surface water in nature. Surface water is more prone
to contamination from various sources compared to ground water. Some pollutants are harmless
to the human health and even desirable in the water whereas others must be removed to make the
water suitable for drinking purposes (World Health Organization, 2006).
2.2 PARAMETERS FOR DRINKING WATER QUALITY
To evaluate the quality of drinking water, various parameters have to be considered. The key
ones are discussed below.
2.2.1 Turbidity
This refers to the cloudiness of water and is caused by suspended particles in the water. The
contaminants are natural and include clay particles, silt and organic flours. Turbidity is a major
challenge in drinking water treatment when the water source is surface water, but can be
neglected in treatment of groundwater (Crittenden, et al. 2012). Turbidity is measured in
Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU), which is an optical measurement, where a light beam
passes through the water sample, and the amount of scattered and absorbed light is detected
(Lambrou, T. P., et al. 2010).
According to the World Health Organization, the turbidity level should be below 1 NTU.
2.2.2 Bacteriological quality
The bacteriological quality of water has a great effect on the taste of water. This is a major
challenge, especially in water obtained. Eutrophication of the waters due to disposal of

phosphorous from agriculture and wastewater, among others, favors algae and bacteria growth
and can cause health risks (Figueras, M., & Borrego, J. J., 2010).
Bacteria in water can cause diseases such as typhoid (Salmonella typhi), cholera (Vibrio
cholerae) and diarrhea. Fecal coliforms and streptococci indicate that wastes from humans or
animals contaminate the water. Fecal streptococci are the most resistant group of bacteria, and
are often analyzed together with total coliforms as an indication of a total bacteriological status.
Coliform bacteria can be removed from the water by chlorination (Cabral, J. P., 2010).
2.2.3 Hardness
The amount of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) determines the hardness of the water.
Strontium (Sr) and barium (Ba) also contribute to the hardness, but since the presence of these
ions is so low they are often neglected. Water with a high total hardness will cause problems with
deposits and corrosion. This situation occurs when calcium carbonate and carbon dioxide in the
water is not in equilibrium(Bhardwaj, V., & Singh, D. S. 2011).
The calcium carbonate will in the case of a low amount of free carbon dioxide lead to deposits
and corrosion. The equilibrium depends on temperature and affects the lime precipitation.
The hardness of a water can be described in several units such as the German hardness scale,
dH, or equivalents of CaCO3(Bhardwaj, V., & Singh, D. S. 2011).
2.2.4 pH and alkalinity
The pH and alkalinity of the water have a great effect on the water quality and are closely linked
to corrosion. pH is the negative 10-logarithm of the hydrogen ion activity in the water, and thus
indicates the amount of hydrogen ions in the water. Alkalinity is the waters ability to neutralize
added hydrogen ions, or buffering capacity. The main buffering species include carbonates
(CO32-), hydroxides (OH-) and hydrogen carbonates (HCO3-) in the water. Since corrosion is

caused by calcium carbonate, the corrosion process is dependent on the pH and alkalinity of the
water (Krenkel, P., 2012)
2.2.5 Organic content
The taste and smell of the water are affected by the amount of organic compounds in the water.
The organic content comes from both natural and anthropogenic sources and is often expressed
as chemical oxygen demand (COD). COD is a measurement of the amount of oxygen it takes to
degrade the oxidizable, mainly organic content of the water, and is expressed in mg O2/l14
(Verma, A. K., & Singh, T. N., 2013).
2.2.6 Ions, conductivity and total dissolved solids (TDS)
Some of the common ions in water are iron (Fe2+), manganese (Mn2+), nitrate (NO3-) and
nitrite (NO2-). There are still other ions, but the above mentioned have the greatest impact on the
drinking water quality. Iron and manganese also have an impact on the taste, colour and odour of
the water and can cause deposits in pipes. Fluoride (F-) is another common ion in waters, which
can in too large amounts cause discoloration of the teeth in drinking water. This has been
experienced in some parts of Central and Rift Valley provinces in Kenya. Conductivity is a
measurement of the water's ability to allow electricity to pass through and depends on the
amount of ions in the water. Conductivity increases with the content of dissolved salts in the
water, and is also dependent on the temperature. It is measured in Siemens/m(Abbasi, T., &
Abbasi, S. A., 2012).
TDS represents the total amount of dissolved solids in water. Since water is a highly polar
solvent, most of the dissolved matter will be in the form of ions. The TDS value is therefore
often closely linked to the conductivity. TDS is measured in mg/l (Abbasi, T., & Abbasi, S. A.,
2012).

2.2.7 Heavy metals and toxic substances


The concentration of heavy metals and toxic substances in drinking water should be closely
monitored. The recommended values from WHO varies from 10 g/l (lead, Pb) down to 3.0 g /l
(cadmium, Cd) (Matilainen, A., et al. 2010).
Pesticides from agriculture have become a problem in the last fifty five years. The toxic
characteristics of these substances and the slow rate of nonbiodegradability pose a challenge to
water quality (Matilainen, A., et al. 2010).
2.2.8 Recommended values for drinking water
Values for different parameters are presented in table 1 below (World Health Organization,
1993).
Table 1. Recommended values in drinking water
CONSTITUENT OR PROPERTY

MAXIMUM DESIRABLE
CONCENTRATION

MAXIMUM
PERMISSIBLE
CONCENTRATION

Total solids

500 mg/l

1500 mg/l

Turbidity

5 NTU

25 NTU

Iron (Fe)

0.1 mg/l

1.0 mg/l

Manganese (Mn)

0.05 mg/l

0.5 mg/l

Copper (Cu)

0.05 mg/l

1.5 mg/l

Zinc (Zn)

5 mg/l

15 mg/l

Calcium (Ca)

75 mg/l

200 mg/l

Sulphates (SO4)

200 mg/l

400 mg/l

Chlorides (Cl)

200 mg/l

600 mg/l

pH

7 to 8.5

6.5 to 9.2

Total hardness

100 mg CaCO3 / l

100 mg CaCO3 / l

2.3 Treatment process to obtain safe water


The steps used in the water treatment process vary from one treatment plant to another.
Depending on the desired final quality, and also depend on the source of raw water and the
quality. Groundwater is generally the most ideal source for drinking water, since only a
negligible percentage of contaminants will manage to penetrate deep to the groundwater source.
Sometimes it can even be used directly as drinking water without prior treatment. When
treatment is needed, common steps involve removal of hardness (calcium and magnesium) and
disinfection. However, groundwater is not always present in sufficient amounts for drinking
water production. Surface water is more prone to various contaminants and therefore requires
more treatment compared to ground water (Schwarzenbach, R. P., et al. 2010).
.The water treatment process can either be mechanical or physical and at times biological
treatment. Mechanical treatment removes solids and material physically. By chemical treatment
contaminants and substrates are removed by adding chemicals, whereas biological treatment is
done with the aid of microorganisms and mainly used in slow sand filtration (Benner, J., et al.
2013).
The most common steps in drinking water treatment are discussed below.
2.3.1 Screening
Screening is usually the very first step in the treatment of surface water. It consists of one or
several screens, designed to remove coarse contaminants from the water (Hendricks, D., 2010).
2.3.2 Coagulation and flocculation
The sedimentation or filtration processes can be used to remove smaller particles. However,
many particles in surface water are so small that they settle extremely slowly, or not at all. In the

coagulation and flocculation process, these small particles are aggregated into larger units, which
can easily be removed in the following sedimentation and filtration steps. Suspended and/or
dissolved particles in water, such as clay and organic matter, usually have a net negative charge
on the surface. They thus tend to repel each other rather than to aggregate. During coagulation,
positively charged ions (usually aluminium or iron ions) are adsorbed on the surface of the
particles, reducing their net charge and facilitating the forming of flocs. The forming of flocs is
referred to as flocculation (Renault, F., et al2009).
Common coagulants used for drinking water production are: aluminium sulphate, ferric chloride,
polyaluminium chlorides and synthetic polymers. All of these have in common the ability of
producing positively charged ions when dissolved in water, which can contribute to charge
neutralization (Nieto, L. M., et al. 2011).
The dosage of coagulant depends on several parameters such as type and concentration of
contaminants, pH and temperature. It also depends on the way the coagulant is added. Rapid
stirring ensures adequate mixing, and so does dosing below the surface. The optimal dosage for
specific water is defined as the dosage which gives the lowest turbidity in the treated water.
Dosage beyond the optimum point will, apart from the obvious disadvantages such as increased
aluminum/iron content in the water, also lead to an increase in turbidity (Arnoldsson, E., et al,
2008).
2.3.3 Separation
The flocs formed during the coagulation-flocculation process can be separated by several means,
and the separation is usually done in two steps; sedimentation or flotation followed by
filtration.Sedimentation is based on the principle that gravitational forces will make flocs and
particles sink to the bottom of a tank or container, where they can be removed through an outlet.

In a flotation process, pressurized air is introduced at the bottom of the tank. The air will form
small bubbles in the water, onto which the flocs will attach and float up to the surface. The foam
formed at the surface is then removed mechanically (Crittenden, J. C., et al. 2012).
2.3.4 Filtration
The filtration step can be used both in connection with the separation of flocculated particles, and
as an individual treatment. In both cases the main goal is removal of suspended solids with a
small particle size, in large amounts. All filters will be exposed to gradual clogging when
particles are trapped, and need to be cleaned regularly. In rapid sand filters this is done by
backwashing the filters with clean water, whereas in slow filtration the microbial degradation is
enough to prevent clogging (Nieto, L. M., et al. 2011).
Rapid sand filters most often occur directly after the sedimentation/flotation step and separates
the last remaining flocs that failed to disappear during sedimentation. The filtration rate for a
rapid filter is 5-10 m/h and the material is often coarse sand. Rapid sand filters have no
biological degradation. Slow sand filters are built on biologically active layers where algae and
microorganisms break down or coagulate the suspended solids. Slow filters are sometimes used
for treatment of surface waters without any prior coagulation or sedimentation. The filtration rate
is less than 0.3 m/h and the filter reduces colour, taste, odour and the amount of COD in the
water. It has also been found that the removal of micropollutants such as pesticides and phenols
are not satisfactory good enough in slow sandfilters (Li, T., et al. 2006).
As an alternative to sedimentation, filters with coarse media of various sizes, also known as
roughing filters, can be used. The size of the filter media is gradually decreasing throughout the
filter, with the largest units close to the inlet and the smallest at the outlet (Page, D., et al.2006).

2.3.5 Post-alkalinisation and post-chlorination


Alkalinisation is sometimes needed for compensating for the pH drop due to the aluminium
sulphate added in the coagulation step. Recommendations are that the water, leaving the
treatment plant should have a pH between 6.5-9. Lime (CaCO3) is a common chemical used for
this purpose.As a last step before the water leaves the water treatment plant chlorination is often
performed, in order to kill microorganisms in the water (Spellman, F. R. 2013).

CHAPTER THREE
METHODOLOGY
3.1 Preparation of coagulant and raw water
The dried seeds of natural coagulant containing plants were used in the coagulant preparation
process. The seeds used as natural coagulants were; Glycine max (Soya beans), Vigna
unguiculata(Cowpeas) and Phaseolus vulgaris(ordinary beans). The seeds were obtained from
National Cereals And Produce Board of Kenya. The seeds were then ground to a fine powder
using a mortar. The powder obtained from the various seeds was then weighed and dissolved in
distilled water. The solution was then made up to 50 g/l of the solution. The solution was then
stirred for 30 minutes using a magnetic stirrer, and finally filtrated through a Whatman filter no
40. Fresh solutions were prepared on a daily basis in order to overcome the effects of ageing.
The raw water to be used throughout the study was obtained from River Ndarugu. The water
samples were collected and stored in plastic bottles in the lab. The water sample gave an initial
turbidity of 83.4 NTU. The initial turbidity was measured after two hours of transportation to the
laboratory.
3.2 Jar tests
The tests were carried out at The National Water Corporation Laboratory. The equipment used in
this study was Janke & Kunkel jar test apparatus with 6 beakers. Each of the jars was filled with
800 milliliters of raw water that had identical turbidity level, and the initial stirring rate was set
to 120 rpm. Different volumes of selected coagulant were then added to 5 jars. After
sedimentation phase the parameters described below were then measured in the supernatant in
each of the jars.
3.2.1 Turbidity
Turbidity was measured with 2100P turbidity meter. The initial turbidity of the raw water sample
was measured 3 times. A magnetic stirrer was used for stirring. The average value of the three

measurements was used as the starting value. Figure 2 shows the measured turbid water samples
that were used for jar test experiments.
After the sedimentation phase, samples for turbidity measurement were collected from the
supernatant using a standard pipette. The sample beaker was washed once with distilled water
and twice with the supernatant before turbidity was recorded. Each of the measurements took 1-2
minutes, washing included, thus the last jar to be measured upon was allowed to sediment for
about 40 minutes.

Figure 2: Sample of raw water that was used in the jar test experiment
3.2.2 Temperature
The temperature was measured with a regular thermometer that was held for 1 minute in the
water, and the observed temperature was recorded nearest an integer.

3.2.3 Measurement of pH
pH was measured using Jenway 3505 pH meter. The machine was calibrated using two standard
solutions of pH 4.0 and 7.0. The sample water was then placed in a glass beaker and the tip of the
probe rinsed using the sample water before placing it in the sample. The pH was then read
directly from the meter.

CHAPTER FOUR
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
The various coagulants used reduced turbidity and were capable of forming flocs in
turbid water. The flocs formed indicated that powder obtained from various seeds possess
adequate coagulation capacity. From studies, the active ingredient in the powder is a positively
charged cation. Therefore, the positively charged part of the coagulant associates with and
neutralizes negative charges on the surface of the particles in the raw water. Thus the whole
process can be described by charge neutralization and adsorption. Mixing enhances the process
and leads to interaction of particles that possess opposite charges that leads to formation of flocs
that are heavy enough to settle by gravity.
The jar test operations were carried out using raw water of uniform turbidity of 83.4
NTU. The efficiency of the extracts of Glycine max, Vigna unguiculata and Phaseolus vulgaris
made them suitable alternative coagulants for the clarification of water. The dosses added for the
corresponding six beakers ranged from 0 mg/l to 25 mg/l. Figures 1-4 shows the results of
different doses of coagulant added for jar test. The temperature of raw water was measured using
a regular thermometer and gave a value of 22.5 after being held in the water for one minute.
The pH of the raw water was measured using a Jenway 3505 pH meter and gave an average
reading of 7.51.
4.1.

Results using Soya Beans (Glycine max)


The results were as shown in figure 1, it was found that the initial turbidity of raw water

was 83.4 NTU. Turbidity reduced to 83.4, 33.9, 19.8, 16.4, 16.4, and 16.4 corresponding to 0, 5,
10, 15, 20, and 25 mg/l Glycine max doses respectively. The final pH of the water remained
unchanged when powder obtained from soya beans was used as a coagulant. The results were

tabulated as shown in Table 2. Soya beans powder was found to be most effective for coagulation
when the dose was 15 mg/l at a mixing rate of 65 revolutions per minute (RPM) and a settling
time of thirty minutes. Soya beans powder is cheap, easily cultivable, and available in Kenya.
Beaker

Coagulant dosage

Residual turbidity

Percentage of

no.

(mg/l)

(NTU)

turbidity removed

83.4
33.9
19.8
16.4
16.4
16.4

(%)
0
59.3
76.3
80.3
80.3
80.3

1
2
3
4
5
6

0
5
10
15
20
25

Table 2: coagulation results using Soya beans extract

Figure 3: graphical representation of coagulation using Soya beans extract

Final pH

7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51

Figure 4: clear water obtained when soya beans powder was used as a coagulant
Figure 4 above shows the results that were obtained after coagulation process using soya beans
powder as the coagulant.
4.2

Results using Cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata)


For Vigna unguiculata, doses of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 mg/l reduced turbidity to 83.4,

54.7, 40.1, 31.2, 28.6, and 28.6 respectively, after dosing. Turbidity reduction increases with
increasing doses. The final pH of the water remained unchanged when powder obtained from
cowpeas was used as a coagulant. The results obtained were tabulated as shown in Table 3.
Beaker
no.

Coagulant dosage
(mg/l)

Residual turbidity
(NTU)

1
2
3
4
5
6

0
5
10
15
20
25

83.4
54.7
40.1
31.2
28.6
28.6

Percentage of
turbidity removed
(%)
0
34.4
51.9
62.6
65.7
65.7

Final pH

7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51

Table 3: coagulation results using Cowpeas extract

Figure 5: graphical representation of coagulation using Cowpeas extract


4.3
Results using Ordinary Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Results for the removal of turbidity using various doses of Phaseolus vulgaris are shown
in figure 3. It was found that the raw water turbidity was 83.4 NTU. Turbidity reduced to 83.4,
39.7, 23.5, 18.8, 19.3, and 21.7 corresponding to 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 mg/l Phaseolus vulgaris
doses. The final pH of the water remained unchanged when powder obtained from ordinary
beans was used as a coagulant. The results obtained were tabulated as shown in Table 4. In the
absence of soya beans, it was found from the study that ordinary beans are also suitable for use
as natural coagulants.

Beaker

Coagulant dosage

Residual turbidity

Percentage of

no.

(mg/l)

(NTU)

turbidity removed

1
2
3
4
5
6

0
5
10
15
20
25

83.4
39.7
23.5
18.8
19.3
21.7

(%)
0
52.4
71.8
77.5
76.9
74.0

Table 4: coagulation results using Ordinary beans extract

Figure 6: graphical representation of coagulation using Ordinary beans extract

Final pH

7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51
7.51

4.4

Results using Aluminum sulphate (alum)


Results for the removal of turbidity using various doses of aluminum sulphate are shown

in Figure 4. Different doses were used for the six beakers and the final turbidity was measured
after coagulation. From Figure 4, it is found that the raw water turbidity was 83.4 NTU.
Turbidity reduced to 83.4, 20.3, 2.6, 1.2, 2.8, and 3.8 NTU corresponding to 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and
25 mg/l aluminum sulphate doses. The results obtained were tabulated as shown in Table 5.

Beaker

Coagulant dosage

Residual turbidity

Percentage of

no.

(mg/l)

(NTU)

turbidity removed

83.4
20.3
2.6
1.2
2.8
3.8

(%)
0
75.7
96.9
98.6
96.6
95.4

1
2
3
4
5
6

0
5
10
15
20
25

Table 5: coagulation results using Alum

Final pH

7.51
7.38
7.17
6.82
6.07
4.80

Figure 7: graphical representation of coagulation using Alum

CHAPTER FIVE
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1

CONCLUSION
Most of the results obtained using the natural coagulants complied with the WHO guidelines

shown in Table 1. Increasing dosage of the various seed coagulants leads to decrease in turbidity
up to the optimum dose after which the residual turbidity increases due to floc restabilization. On
the quality of water treated using the natural seed coagulants, the following were noted;
a) The pH of the water was not affected by the addition of the coagulant;
b) The volume of sludge produced was considerably less as compared to alum
The results obtained show that powder from seed kernels of soya beans, cowpeas, and
ordinary beans contains some coagulating properties at loading doses of 5mg/L and above that
have similar effect as the conventional coagulant, alum. This lends support to earlier findings of
the use of powder processed from other natural coagulant. Considering the fact that soya beans,
cowpeas, and ordinary beans coagulants can be locally produced, their use in water purification
should be encouraged. Naturally occurring coagulants are biodegradable and presumed safe for
human health. The benefit of these natural coagulants is that they are nontoxic and therefore,
good coagulant in water treatment. This is likely to reduce the high cost of the current water
treatment systems in Kenya and other developing nations.

5.2

RECOMMENDATIONS

Following the findings from the research, it is recommended that:


a. A combination treatment of alum and each of the natural coagulants used in the research,
in different proportions be investigated to establish their effectiveness in treating raw
water.
b. Use raw water from different surface sources with varying levels of turbidity to find out
the effectiveness of the natural coagulants on removal of low and high levels of turbidity.
c. The natural coagulants powder should be blended in different proportions to find out their
effectiveness in the removal of turbidity from raw water.
d. Cost-benefit analysis to be conducted to establish which type of natural coagulant is more
economical for the removal of turbidity in raw turbid water.
e. Improve the natural coagulants through isolation of bioactive constituents from the seeds
to determine if there is an increase in the turbidity removal efficiency.

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