Skip to main content

< Return to previous page

Biofiltration: 30 Years of Research and Guidance

Authors: Brown, J., and Jang, G.

Advances in Water Research, October 2020

Biological filtration (biofiltration) is the operational practice of managing, maintaining, and promoting biological activity on granular media in a filter to enhance the removal of organic and inorganic constituents before treated water is introduced into the distribution system (Brown et al. 2016). Biofiltration has been used as a part of drinking water treatment since the early 1900s. Although biofiltration has a long history of use and holds great promise as an effective, economic, and sustainable operational practice, it has not been utilized to the full extent possible due to public perception problems and resistance to the intentional use of microorganisms within water treatment processes. In recent years, however, new stringent regulatory and technological developments have encouraged more utilities to consider biofiltration to treat their drinking water.


Brown, J., and Jang, G., “Biofiltration: 30 Years of Research and Guidance.” Advances in Water Research. 30(4):14-19, 2020.