Water Utilities

The use of activated carbon in the treatment of drinking water is one of the largest and best known applications for this filtration technology.

For drinking water applications, activated carbon tends to be used for removal of taste, colour and odour forming compounds as well as other trace contaminants. Typical targets for removal include:

– Geosmin and MIB
– Pharmaceuticals, including paracetomol, ibufrofen and other medical compounds
– Pesticides, herbicides and insecticides
The slug repellent metaldehyde is known to be a particular problem in a number of rural areas and is traditionally very difficult to remove with standard GAC filtration. CPL Activated Carbons has an active R&D programme looking into this issue, with a view to offering a best-in-class solution to this problematic contaminant.

In addition to the treatment of drinking water, an area of increasing activity and

interest in the water industry is the removal of trace contaminants from wastewater streams, ie before the water is discharged into the watercourse. In some parts of Europe this is an important application for carbons, particularly powdered activated carbon (PAC), which is dosed in a batch-type process rather than the continuous GAC-based process often used for treating potable water.

As well as water treatment itself, water utilities often have other process on their sites that require a carbon filtration solution. These include biogas/biomethane facilities, whereby the anaerobic digestion of wastewater sludge generates methane that requires purification with carbon prior to use in a CHP engine, or grid injection.

General odour control is also a common application for activated carbon filtration at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

CPL Activated Carbons supplies a full suite of products and services into the water utility sector. For potable water operations, we offer a range of granular (GAC) and powdered (PAC) carbons, all of which have the required EN certification allowing them to be used for drinking water treatment.

Spent GAC from drinking water facilities can be reactivated at our new state-of-the-art regeneration facility in the UK, which is a dedicated and isolated unit only used for treatment carbons from potable or food-grade applications.

For wastewater treatment, a range of GAC or PAC products can be supplied.

For biogas and odour control applications, we have a broad selection of standard and impregnated pellets, which can be reactivated at our ‘amber list’ facility

located in Immingham, one of the largest such facilities in Europe.

Mobile carbon filters, either liquid phase or gas phase, can be supplied if required, offering a convenient ‘plug & play’ concept and avoiding the need for on-site carbon handling.

Finally, our experienced Site Services Team can facilitate delivery and installation of the carbon to customers’ sites, as well as the removal of spent material ready for reactivation.


For further information please contact us or call +44 (0)1942 824 240