MBRs allow water reuse of sewage treatment
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Subdivisions continue to multiply. Developers routinely contact us for proposals for communities that are ‘outside the water treatment grid’ and are sourcing water and wastewater treatment systems. Water can be expensive to bring to these communities and they are keen to reuse water wherever possible.
With a membrane bioreactor communities are able to both treat sewage and recover bacteria and pathogen free water for their fire stations, as well as irrigation. This can mean big environmental and promotional benefits for developers, not to mention cost savings!
At BI Pure Water we would like to see communities using MBR because it can be a completely closed loop system. Dewatered sludge can be spread on fields, recovering nitrogen and phosphorus, or mixed into compost. The MBR requires a little more skilled maintenance than a MBBR or SBR system because it requires – two or three times a year typically – a chemical clean of membranes. Also the membranes need to be monitored for breaks or fouling, though these symptoms would be monitored through the computer control system.
A budgetary price proposed for this typical subdivision is under $200,000 for the first 100 dwellings. MBR is modular so in Phase II and III of the development another MBR would be added later to defer capital costs.
MBRs are built and tested complete inside a container or steel framed building. This can save on construction costs and are hassle-free by being built and tested in the factory and shipped complete and ready for implementation in the community. The plants are by nature steel frame structures that are resistant to extreme weather events, as well as mold, wildlife and rodents.
Ready for freshet?
Ultrafiltration reduces turbidity without chemicals while also removing viruses, cysts, bacteria and contaminants
With the latest advances in the membrane technology — ultrafiltration — it’s possible to take control of spring flooding conditions that can turn drinking water a mud colour. An ultrafiltration unit integrated into your plant’s existing facility has the benefit of reducing turbidity by filtering colloidal particles (0.002 to 1.0 microns) and some of the largest dissolved contaminants. Ultrafiltration provides a minimum 4 log removal of viruses, cysts and bacteria without chemicals, tested against US EPA Standards. Turbidity is reduced so that the downstream UV-systems can function efficiently.
Ultrafiltration results in a reduced need for chemicals such as coagulants, flocculates, disinfectants and/or pH adjustment. It is a natural size exclusion filtration instead of media depth filtration. UF produces a good and constant quality of treated water in terms of particle and microbial removal without chemicals.
Ultrafiltration is not fundamentally different from reverse osmosis, microfiltration or nanofiltration, except in terms of the size of the molecules it retains. UF membranes will come in different pore sizes, which determine the type and size of contaminants removed.
The ultrafiltration unit has a small footprint and plants are compact with simple automation that is easy to maintain. BI Pure Water’s ultrafiltration setup allows full control over all required peripherals to filter water from any source, waste to well-water.
Automated Membrane testing
Monitoring the signal of a turbidity meter in the filtrate line of the system provides indirect testing of the membrane. The PLC will also trigger the integrated, direct membrane-test.
Treats difficult water
The system is designed to withstand fouling and automatically applies membrane cleaning. Money and time is saved on replacing cartridge filters. The degree of fouling of the membrane is continuously measured based on the function of flow and differential pressure. The ultrafiltration unit automatically reacts to varying feed water conditions and adjusts the frequency of its cleaning cycles accordingly. In addition to a feed-pump it also controls dosing equipment in the feed to be able to treat high-color-containing sources using an inline-flocculation-process. This achieves the highest possible flow rates at maximum rates of removal of color and dissolved organics.
Once the system detects a need for cleaning, it can apply different combinations of cleaning techniques, including pre- and post-flushing, internal backwash or backwash powered by an external pump. Cleaning-In-Place can be performed automatically; for example two different chemicals in sequence can be applied to allow for high- followed by low-pH cleaning steps, to get the system back to start-up conditions.
Remote monitoring and alert system
As soon as the system detects an operating error, including a failed membrane-integrity test, or other differentiated message, e.g. unsuccessful cleaning sequences, water hammer or an empty cleaning chemical tank, it can send out an SMS message to up to ten cell phones or report to an existing remote monitoring system. If the unit is hooked up to an existing cellular network through its internal high speed-modem (optional), latest web-based, remote-control solutions allow the user to access the unit over the internet, change operating parameters and read operating history from the datalogger.
The many uses of ultrafiltration
Particulate and pathogen free water
- Superb filtrate quality
- Removal of suspended solids (turbidity) & micro-organisms
- Partial removal of TOC, COD & BOD
- Fully automated operation – operator friendly
- Save $ and time wasted on cartridge filters
- Only Chlorine required for membrane cleaning
- low energy requirement
Reliable Potable Water Supply
By removing essentially all colloidal particles 0.01 to 1.0 micron, UF will remedy community water supply prone to turbidity, especially during spring runoff. The UF membrane also provides 4-log removal of viruses, cycts and bacteria. The filter is low maintenance and needs to be replaced an average of every six years.
Waste water reclamation
UF has proven useful for pre-treatment before RO, extending the life of a Reverse Osmosis unit and removing virtually all larger particles from a waste stream. Process wastewater can be recycled or reclaimed, saving money on wastewater disposal.
Post Sewage Treatment
A ceramic UF unit can be added to a traditional sludge facility to meet increased regulations for filtrate release. Membranes are long lasting and can be gravity fed, so very inexpensive to operate.
Particulate removal from water is conducted by UF membranes on industrial sites such as Mosaic Potash mine in Saskatchewan, TransAlta, AB coal power sites and Toba Inlet hydro power. The low maintenance filters enable process or source water to meet Canadian drinking water standards.