A Multi-Criteria Approach for Assessing Options to Remediate Arsenic in Drinking Water

  • Bryan Ellis
  • Hemda Garelick
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 197)

I Introduction

Arsenic exposure threatens millions of people in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, and Mexico who drink groundwater contaminated at levels (0.86–1.86 mg/L) far in excess of the 10 μg/L World Health Organization (WHO) maximum permissible level. To address this serious problem, the Division of Chemistry and the Environment of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists (IUPAC) established a project designed to provide a simple and practical guide for decision making on arsenic remediation technologies (IUPAC 2003). When selecting technologies appropriate to remediate arsenic, one must consider aspects other than water quality; microbiological contamination, cost, availability of technical expertise to achieve local remediation, and social acceptance factors must also be factored into the remediation equation. Consideration of such multiple criteria involves many stakeholders at a plethora of institutions and organizational levels.

Successful arsenic remediation...


Utility Score Performance Matrix Arsenic Species Arsenic Removal Hybrid Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ahmed MF, Ashraf AM, Adeel Z (2001) Technologies for Arsenic Removal from Drinking Water. International Workshop, Bangladesh University for Engineering & Technology, Dhaka and United Nations University, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  2. Ahmed MF (2003) Treatment of arsenic contaminated water. In: Ahmed MF (ed) Arsenic Contamination: Bangladesh Perspective. ITN-Bangladesh Centre for Water Supply and Waste Management, BUET, pp 354–403.Google Scholar
  3. ASCE and UNESCO (1998) Sustainability Criteria for Water Resource Systems. Report of Joint ASCE/UNESCO Task Committee on Sustainability Criteria. Project M-4.3, IHP-IV. American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA.Google Scholar
  4. Ashley RM, Smith H, Jowitt PW, Butler D, Blackwood DJ, Davies JW, Gilmour DJ, Foxon T (2001) A multi-criteria analysis/risk management tool to assess the relative sustainability of water/wastewater systems: SWARD (Sustainable Water Industry Asset Resource Decisions). In: Pratt CJ, Davies JW, Perry JL (eds) Proceedings, 1st National Conference on Sustainable Drainage. Coventry University, Coventry, UK, pp 221–231.Google Scholar
  5. Boerschke RK, Stewart DK (2001) Evaluation of arsenic mitigation technologies for use in Bangladesh. In: Ahmed MF, Ashraf AM, Adeel Z (eds) Technologies for Arsenic Removal from Drinking Water. International Workshop, Bangladesh University for Engineering & Technology, Dhaka and United Nations University, Tokyo, pp 214–230.Google Scholar
  6. Caldwell BK, Caldwell JC, Mitra SN, Smith W (2003) Tubewells and arsenic in Bangladesh: challenging a public health success story. Int J Popul Geogr 9:23–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ellis JB, Deutsch J-C, Mouchel J-M, Scholes L, Revitt DM (2004) Multi-criteria decision approaches to support sustainable drainage options for the treatment of highway and urban runoff Sci Total Environ 334/335:251–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ellis JB, Deutsch J-C, Legret M, Martin C, Revitt DM, Scholes L, Seiker H, Zimmerman U (2005) The Day Water decision support approach to the selection of sustainable drainage systems: a multi-criteria methodology for BMP decision makers. Proceedings, 10th International Conference on Urban Drainage, August 2005, Copenhagen. IWA, London.Google Scholar
  9. Figueira J, Roy B (2002) Determining the weights of criteria in the ELECTRE type methods with a revised Simos’ procedure. Eur J Operational Res 139:317–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Garelick H, Jones H, Dybowska A, Valsami-Jones E (2008) Arsenic pollution sources. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol (this volume)Google Scholar
  11. IUPAC (2003) Remediation technologies for the removal of arsenic from water and wastewater.
  12. IWAHQ (2005) Bonn Charter for Safe Drinking Water.
  13. Koundouri P (2005) The economics of arsenic mitigation. I: Arsenic Contamination of Groundwater in South and East Asian Countries, vol II. Technical Report, Water & Sanitation Program, World Bank, Washington DC, pp 210–262.Google Scholar
  14. Jakariya M, Chowdhury AMR, Hossain Z, Rahman M, Sarker Q, Khan RI, Rahman M (2003) Sustainable community-based safe water options to mitigate the Bangladesh arsenic catastrophe: a experience from two upazilas. Curr Sci 85(2):141–146.Google Scholar
  15. Loetscher T, Keller J (2002) A decision support system for selecting sanitation systems in developing countries. Socio-Econ Plan Sci 36:267–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Martin C, Ruperd Y, Legret M (2007) Urban stormwater drainage management. The development of a multi-criteria decision aid approach for Best Management Practices. Eur J Operational Res 181(1):338–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001)Arsenic Remediation Technologies.
  18. Murcott S (1999) Appropriate remediation technologies for arsenic-contaminated wells in Bangladesh. Arsenic in Bangladesh Ground Water, February 27–28, Wagner College, Staten Island, New York. Available on line: http://phys4harvardedu/∼wilson/arsenic/remediation/arsenic_removal/murcotthtml.
  19. NAMIC (National Arsenic Mitigation Information Centre) (2006) Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project.
  20. OCETA (2001) ETV-AM Screening, Testing and Evaluation Protocols, vols 1–6. Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement, Toronto, Canada.Google Scholar
  21. ODPM (2003) Multi-criteria Analysis Manual. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, London. UK.
  22. Price RE, Pilcher T (2005) Distribution, speciation and bioavailability of arsenic in a shallow-water submarine hydrothermal system, Tutum Bay, Ambitle Island, PNG. Chem Geol 224(3):122–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Safiuddin M, Karim MM (2003) Water resources management in the remediation of groundwater arsenic contamination in Bangladesh. In: Murphy T, Guo J (ed) Aquifer Arsenic Toxicity and Treatment. Backhuys, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp 1–17.Google Scholar
  24. Sharma AK, Tjell JC, Mosbaek H (2003) Removal of arsenic using naturally occurring iron. J Phys IV Fr 107(2):1223–1226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Simos J (1990) Evaluer l'Impact sur l'Environnement: Une Approche Originale par l'Analyse Multicritere et la Negociation. Presses Polytechniques & Universitaire Romandes, Lausanne, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  26. Smedleigh PL, Kinniburgh DG (2001) Source and behaviour of arsenic in natural waters. In: Synthesis Report: Arsenic in Drinking Water. World Health Organisation, Switzerland, pp 2–61.Google Scholar
  27. United Nations (2004) World urbanisation prospects: the 2003 revision. Data tables and highlights. United Nations, New York.Google Scholar
  28. Visoottiviseth P, Ahmed F (2008) Technology for remediation and disposal of arsenic. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol (this volume).[sak1]Google Scholar
  29. Wenzel V (2001) Integrated assessment and multi-criteria analysis. Phys Chem Earth (B) 26(7/8):541–545.Google Scholar
  30. WHO (2004) Inactivation (disinfection) processes. In: LeChevallier MW, Au KK (eds) Water Treatment and Pathogen Control: Process Efficiency in Achieving Safe Drinking Water.
  31. WHO (2006) Guidelines for drinking-water quality.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryan Ellis
    • 1
  • Hemda Garelick
    • 1
  1. 1.Urban Pollution Research CentreMiddlesex UniversityQueenswayLondon

Personalised recommendations