Potential for Riverbank filtration in India

Cornelius Sandhu, Thomas Grischek, Pradeep Kumar, Chittaranjan Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Riverbank filtration (RBF) has been used for many decades in Europe and the United States to provide drinking water to communities located on riverbanks. In India, the development of RBF has the potential to provide drinking water to many cities located on the Ganga Plains currently using surface water as a source for their public water supply. Water diversion for irrigation and discharge of wastewater to rivers with extremely low flows has aggravated the water supply situation for many Indian cities using surface water. A number of Indian cities, with source waters of significantly varying quality, are already using RBF. In most of these cities no significant additional treatment is provided to the filtrate for their water supply. The objective of this article is to examine selected operating bank filtration sites in India (that have been investigated since 2005) and to elucidate additional potential RBF sites based on water problems and hydrogeologic suitability. A summary of selected operational RBF systems in Ahmedabad, Delhi, Haridwar, Mathura, Medinipur and Kharagpur, Nainital, Patna and Srinagar and their ability to produce potable water is provided. Analysis of the suitability of RBF for Allahabad, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, and Vijayawada, based on hydrogeology and land use, is also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-316
Number of pages22
JournalClean Technologies and Environmental Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Drinking water treatment
  • Ganga River
  • India
  • Monsoon
  • Riverbank filtration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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