River bank filtration for protection of Jordanian surface and groundwater

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Jordan is considered to be one of the 10 poorest countries worldwide in water resources, and has a population growth rate of about 2.9% (1998-2002), the 9th highest in the world. The available renewable water resources are dropping drastically to an annual per capita share of 160 m3 in recent years. Within Jordan, the Zarqa River is the third largest river in terms of its annual discharge. The river is heavily contaminated with treated domestic and industrial wastewater principally from the city of Amman, but still serves as a major source for irrigation water. We consider riverbank filtration (RBF) an appropriate technology that efficiently and dependably procure quality water from Zarqa River thus making a contribution to protect Jordan's remaining surface and ground water resources. Since 2006, a RBF well field has been installed. Six wells were drilled at various distances from the river. Salt tracers have been released to the hyporheic zone and were detected in a RBF well during subsequent pumping. From the tracer test data, approximated travel times have been established and first observations regarding the removal of microbial matter have been obtained. The data indicate rapid travel times and 2 to 3 log units of removal even over a very short distance from the river (< 10 m). Additional tests are planned to further investigate the performance of the RBF system. However, it is already clear that the RBF has significantly improved the water quality and local farmers have begun using our RBF water for agricultural purposes. © 2010 ASCE.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change - Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010