Aluminum

Chemical symbol/abbreviations:

Al

Form commonly found in stormwater:

Dissolved in water as Al3+, Al(OH)4, particulate aluminum.

Adverse human impacts:

High aluminum intake is associated with vitamin deficiencies, nerve damage and cancer.[i]
People with kidney damage are particularly susceptible to aluminum toxicity.[ii]

Adverse impacts on the environment:

Dissolved Al3+ is toxic to plants as it affects roots and prevents nutrient intake.[iii]
In acidic waters (pH 5.0-5.5), aluminum is toxic to fish at 0.1 mg/L.[iv]
Dissolved aluminum interferes with fish gill functions and can cause fish to lose electrolytes.[v]

Stormwater Treatment to Remove Aluminum

Aluminum FAQs

How does aluminum get into stormwater runoff?2019-08-26T11:24:28+00:00

Aluminum is a soft, silvery metal commonly found in stormwater in both a dissolved (Al3+, Al(OH)4–) state and a particulate state. Aluminum is present in many soil types and minerals and is generally present in ground and surface water at low levels.[vii] Acid rain can dissolve aluminum in soils and transport it via runoff into water bodies in a dissolved state.[viii]

The primary uses of aluminum in industry include auto parts, beverage cans, home construction and aluminum foil.[xii] Aluminum compounds are added to sewage to facilitate phosphate removal and as part of the paper production process.[xiii] Aluminum in these forms can make its way into waterways and human freshwater drinking sources through stormwater runoff.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Why should aluminum be removed from industrial stormwater runoff?2019-07-23T15:44:02+00:00

Aluminum should be removed from stormwater because of its negative effects on humans and wildlife. When ingested through a water source, high concentrations of aluminum intake are associated with vitamin deficiencies, nerve damage and cancer.[i] People with kidney damage are particularly susceptible to aluminum toxicity.[ii]

In the environment, dissolved aluminum is toxic to plants as it affects roots and prevents nutrient intake.[iii] In acidic waters (pH 5.0-5.5), aluminum is toxic to fish at 0.1 mg/L.[iv] Dissolved aluminum interferes with fish gill functions and can cause fish to lose electrolytes.[v]

How is aluminum removed from industrial stormwater runoff?2019-07-23T15:55:00+00:00

Aluminum in stormwater exists primarily in a solid, particulate form. Enhanced, passive media filtration and polishing can be used to effectively remove particulate aluminum from stormwater prior to discharge to help facilities meet benchmarks or NALs. The Aquip passive media filter and the Purus metals polisher combined offer an advanced level of aluminum removal from stormwater. Learn more about our stormwater media filtration and polishing technologies.

Background:

Aluminum is present in many soils and minerals and is generally present in ground and surface water at low levels.[vii] Acid rain can dissolve aluminum in soils and transport it into water bodies in a dissolved state.[viii]  Aluminum compounds are added to sewage to facilitate phosphate removal and as part of the paper production process as well.[xiii]
Aluminum is mined from bauxite ore.[ix] Australia, Guinea, Brazil, Jamaica, and the former U.S.S.R. are major bauxite producers, while the U.S. produces only one percent of the aluminum it uses.[x]  Secondary production from aluminum scrap is popular due to the high cost and energy input required in refining aluminum ore.[xi]
The primary uses of aluminum include auto parts, beverage cans, home construction and aluminum foil.[xii]

U.S. EPA recommended water quality criteria: [vi]

Freshwater – Aquatic Organisms (Total Recoverable; pH 6.5-9.0)Saltwater– Aquatic OrganismsHuman Health for the consumption of
Acute (µg/L)Chronic (µg/L)Acute (µg/L)Chronic (µg/L)Water + Organism (µg/L)Organism Only (µg/L)
75087nananana

Appendices

[i] Lenntech, Aluminum (Al) and water, http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/water/aluminium/aluminum-and-water.htm (last visited July 25, 2019).

[ii] Lenntech, supra.

[iii] Lenntech, supra.

[iv] Lenntech, supra.

[v] Lenntech, supra.

[vi] U.S. EPA, National Recommended Water Quality Criteria, http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/wqctable/index.html (last visited July 25, 2019).

[vii] Lenntech, supra.

[viii] Lenntech, supra.

[ix] Univ. of Illinois, Primary Metals – Aluminum Smelting & Refining, https://www.istc.illinois.edu/UserFiles/Servers/Server_427403/File/TR033.pdf  (last visited July 26, 2019).

[x] Metals Advisor – Bauxite Mining, http://heattreatconsortium.com/metals-advisor/bauxite-mining/  (last visited July 26, 2019).

[xi] Univ. of Illinois, Primary Metals – Aluminum Smelting & Refining, https://www.istc.illinois.edu/UserFiles/Servers/Server_427403/File/TR033.pdf  (last visited July 26, 2019).

[xii] Univ. of Illinois, Primary Metals – Aluminum Smelting & Refining, https://www.istc.illinois.edu/UserFiles/Servers/Server_427403/File/TR033.pdf  (last visited July 26, 2019).

[xiii] Lenntech, Aluminum (Al) and water, http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/water/aluminium/aluminum-and-water.htm (last visited July 26, 2019).

Aquip® industrial stormwater filtration system uses an innovative enhanced media filtration process to effectively remove soluble and insoluble aluminum and other metals as well as oils, suspended solids, organics and nutrients from industrial stormwater runoff.
Purus® Stormwater Polishing System provides the most advanced level of stormwater treatment, and is designed for challenging stormwater conditions or targeted polluant removal.
2019-08-26T12:30:20+00:00