Geochemical Controls on the Efficiency of Remediation Technologies for Arsenic, Fluoride & Emerging Contaminants in South Asian Groundwaters (GeoCERT)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Earth Atmospheric and Env Sciences


The accessibility of safe drinking water supplies is centrally linked to public health, well-being and economic prosperity globally. Chemical hazards, such as arsenic, fluoride and emerging organic contaminants, which may be present in groundwater due to natural and/or anthropogenic processes, can threaten the safety of drinking water supplies.

Remediation, or treatment, of water can be undertaken, prior to water consumption, using a variety of technologies to reduce exposures to chemical and microbial contaminants which may be present. However, effective implementation of remediation approaches can be challenging, particularly in areas where centralized, treated, piped water supplies are not available or accessible.

The optimal selection and management of appropriate remediation approaches can be challenging because of variability in the suitability of different types of remediation technologies, as well as variability in geochemical conditions, socio-economic and regulatory context, risk trade-offs and gaps in the availability of data relevant for decision-support (e.g. remediation efficiency testing, local geochemical conditions).

The aim of the GeoCERT project is to help address some of these challenges by establishing the relationship between the efficiency of market-available groundwater remediation technologies and source water chemistry to help support optimal selection of remediation strategies in the context of South Asia. Building on from our recent and ongoing research in Bihar, and working closely with Project Partners at Mahavir Cancer Sansthan (Patna, India) and University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia), we will systematically address this aim by investigating the performance of market-available remediation technologies for the removal of arsenic, fluoride and an example emerging organic contaminant (sucralose) in groundwaters representing the range of compositions found in Bihar, India.

With an underpinning focus on knowledge exchange and impact, we will work closely with our partners to produce catalytic outputs including leading publications reporting key findings, stakeholder guidance and submission of further proposals to develop robust, data-informed decision support systems for groundwater remediation in South Asia and elsewhere in the Global South.