Magnetic Ballast Clarification (MBC) is a high rate clarification system that removes suspended solids from water. With ballast clarification, fine particles are attached to a heavy material such as sand with a flocculating polymer.  This makes the particles heavier and therefore they settle quicker in water.  The quicker the particle settles the smaller the clarification equipment.

MBC replaces sand ballast with a material that is ferromagnetic (meaning the material can be made magnetic and/or interacts strongly with a magnet).  The most cost effective material, which exhibits a strong attraction to a magnet, is magnetite.

Magnetite is the favored magnetic ballast because:

  • Low cost
  • Non-toxic
  • Strongly ferromagnetic
  • Fully oxidized (will not rust in water)
  • Readily available
  • High specific gravity (5.3)


MBC has the following three elements:

  • Flocculation
  • Magnetic separation
  • Magnetic ballast cleaning