Author Archive

Ready for freshet?

Written by Marketing on . Posted in ultrafiltration, water treatment tips

Ready for freshet?

Ultrafiltration reduces turbidity without chemicals while also removing viruses, cysts, bacteria and contaminants

plant utilizing ultrafiltration system in ManitobaCreek water is treated to provincial drinking water standards in Esterhazy, SK with ultrafiltration and other treatments

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.

how ultrafiltration works-diagram

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.

Cleaning-In-Place capability

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

Written by Marketing on . Posted in ultrafiltration

ultrafiltration projects

The many uses of ultrafiltration

Particulate and pathogen free water

UF Benefits

  • 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

uf project1 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.

uf project2 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.

uf project3 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.

uf project4 Industrial Sites

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.

Water treatment on wheels

Written by Marketing on . Posted in water treatment tips

Water treatment on wheels

Move them anywhere for piloting or emergency potable water sources

Flexible water treatment systems are built inside mobile trailers and can be customized for the water source.

  • Treating from 10 to 60 USGPM (up to 227 liters per minute)
  • Designed to be easy to maintain
  • Pilot test for the most efficient treatment for your water source

Inside a treatment plant trailer:

  • Optional ultrafiltration for muddy/ turbid waters < 0.1 micron
  • Optional activated carbon filters for improving taste and odour, and removimg organics and potential byproducts of chlorination
  • Various sizes of filtration technologies from 200 microns down to 1 micron absolute.
  • An ion exchange unit
  • UV and/or chlorination systems for disinfection

When to use a pilot system

Written by Marketing on . Posted in water treatment tips

When to use a pilot treatment system

A small ultrafiltration plant is tested on turbid source water

Deciding on how to treat a new water or waste source can be very challenging. Piloting, or employing a small-scale test plant, gives you system, cost and operational details that prove the concept of the full scale system.

While not being required for most water sources, piloting will:

  • save significant money if water quality falls on the borderline between clearly defined treatment technologies
  • provide info on consumable and operational costs
  • demonstrate if an operator is comfortable with the technology and is able to effectively operate the plant
  • show if the technology chosen can work and/or meet long-term monetary requirements

Piloting is especially useful:

  • Where difficult water exists,
  • When there is no detailed water analysis
  • When the analysis was not done during freshet or summer heat
  • When operations and maintenance data is needed
  • The water analysis does not clearly indicate one treatment method or another
  • When multiple water sources are used, ie ground water and surface water, or multiple wells (blending).

When piloting IS NOT required is when a series of detailed water analyses taken over a few years are conclusive as to the treatment method.

Piloting Goals

When designing a pilot treatment plant you will need to:

  • gather information on pre-filtration, dosing rates and filtration alternatives
  • determine the operational characteristics of membrane systems
  • compare the performance of RO membranes supplied by different manufacturers
  • verify disinfection operational performance
  • obtain data to predict operational costs of a full scale plant

The pilot equipment needs to be scalable up to the eventual drinking water flow rate required. A flow rate of 0.1 to 2.0 percent of plant design is normal. The pilot should represent reality as close as possible.

Typical Types of Pilots and Frequency

Filtration: It is important to select the right water treatment technology for the specific water available at a site. If nano-filtration can be used rather than reverse osmosis, capital costs and pumping/power costs will be reduced. Testing out disinfection technologies — ultraviolet as primary disinfection, advanced oxidation and chlorination as residual disinfection — will show if the filtration selected has improved the turbidity and UVT enough.

Data Collection: A full water sampling and analysis program is required. On site sampling is normally carried out manually through analog signals or every 4-8 hours to obtain:

  • Raw and treated water pH
  • raw and treated water turbidity
  • raw and treated water iron and manganese content
  • raw and treated water hardness
  • flow consistency and consistent pressure trends

The water analysis reveals:

A typical small pilot plant which will determine O&M cost, UV and chlorine disinfection efficacy
  • Major and minor contaminants
  • Potable or process water quality objectives
  • Flow rate – peak and average
  • Project budgets
  • Future expansion possibilities

Costs associated with piloting

The cost can range from $3500 to $250,000. A pilot system can be rented or owned depending on the length of piloting time; pilots can be over 1 month or several years.

The challenges of pilots and designing treatment systems is typically there is 1) a lack of data for new water sources. 2) A few chemical analyses do not necessarily define a water source. 3) Piloting a source helps to define and log trends in water quality.

Without understanding the water chemistry or trending over an extended period of time it is difficult to optimize a water treatment design. BI Pure Water designs pilot systems all the time for our final treatment plants and has a wide variety of systems available to rent.

Case Study 1: Pilot test shows different results at two nearby sources

A 5 USGPM pilot was employed with full pre-treatment and clean-in-place capability.

For the Columbia Valley a small filtration plant was pilot tested a few years ago to determine O&M cost, UV and chlorine disinfection. The results during spring melt showed raw water quality remained acceptable for self cleaning and cartridge filtration. Enough data was collected in the testing to design for a full-scale plant, and showed that the system design was cost effective and met Canadian Drinking Water (CDW) guidelines.

However when the same pilot was moved to another location three hours away to Windemere Lake, the 1 micron absolute filters became plugged every 6 days and the water quality objective of less than 1 NTU couldn’t be consistently met. It was found that the piloted equipment was wrong for that source: it was too expensive to operate and didn’t consistently conform to CDW turbidity guidelines. The next step was to pilot a different technology.

Step 2: Testing an ultrafiltration membrane on the water source

Pilot testing was carried out to determine the efficacy of different ultrafiltration membranes. Results showed the ultrafiltration membrane effectively removed small particle (diatoms) that were plugging the previous cartridge filter pilot, without having to use acid or caustic; this was an important O&M detail. It was also demonstrated that whether the water source was from Williston Lake or ground water, with differing chemistry, the technology could meet performance goals over the long term. The pilot also determined what the flux rate was going to be for the full-scale ultrafiltration plant.

Case Study 2: Reverse Osmosis Pilot Test

RO pilot system in 10 ft container
In another pilot, BI Pure Water tested three manufacturers’ reverse osmosis membranes to determine the most efficient for a water source. A 5 USGPM pilot was employed with full pre-treatment and clean-in-place capability. The test was carried out over one or two years and three water sources with very different chemistry. The goals of the pilot were also to determine the best chemicals to clean with, how often the RO needed to be cleaned, and ultimately the best product-to-reject ratios, for longer runs between cleaning, and to determine which technology or product would be better for the source.

Case Study 3: Larger pilot plant prevents large scale errors in system design

For a very challenging water source, a larger mobile pilot in a 10 foot container was employed. In warm July and August months the 1 micron absolute cartridge filter was fouled by algae growth. It seemed the RO technology was too expensive on consumables and didn’t effectively reduce TOCs. But the data provided for the design of the alternate slow sand filtration system, saving money and time in the final system.

Tablet chlorine: safer and simpler for operators to use

Written by Marketing on . Posted in water treatment tips

Tablet chlorine: safer and simpler for operators to use

Accutab Blue Pails

The Accu-Tab solid form of chlorine offers safety and low maintenance benefits together with a small capital investment. With no chlorine gas cylinders to handle, chlorine releases are non existent. Process safety management and risk management program compliance worries disappear.

Accu-Tab 3-inch calcium hypochlorite tablets are easy to handle and store. The chlorinators contain no moving parts or small openings to clog, keeping maintenance at a minimum. The Accu-Tab system is accurate and predictable, as easy to adjust as gas, and more consistent than bleach. BIP/Accu-Tab chlorinators are certified NSF Standard 61.

AccuTab System Bleach Gas
Safety Easy to handle, no spills Spill and leak concerns if near skin or eyes Major gas leak concerns; deadly when inhaled
Changing Chemical Easy to add tablets, only one person needed Hard to maneuver, heavy drums or lots of small carboys Two trained persons needed, breathing protection required?
Material Compability More neutral pH, less corrosive High pH, corrosive Low pH, very corrosive
Convenience 55-lb pail of tablets is easy to handle Bleach drums are awkward to handle Hard to maneuver cylinders, special handling trianing needed
Maintains Chlorine Strength Small change over a year Significant loss in a week of hot weather Consistently 100% chlorine
Chlorine Delivery Control Consistent strength makes for easy, reliable control Ever changing strength makes for control difficulty Troublesome regulators needed, harder to automate
Storage Convenience 55-lb pails stacked three high, same space as 150 lb cylinder, no separate room Drums or bulk tanks require space and possibly containment pad Separate room with special access needed, fans, scrubbers
Auxiliary Equipment No moving parts in chlorinator itself Troublesome metering pumps required Eductors, regulators have small orifices prone to plugging
Accutab Blue Pails

BI Pure Water manufactures, installs, and services an Accu-Tab chlorination system with a small footprint. In most cases the system can be installed by in-house staff in less than a day.

A word about chlorine chemistry

Accutab Blue Pails

Accu-Tab tablets are available for Potable / Industrial Water Treatment (white) and Commercial Swimming Pools (blue). Product available in 25 kg containers.

Chlorine is available in many different forms. The most common include gas, liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite or bleach) and solid calcium hypochlorite. All three forms generate hypochlorous acid – the germ-killing form of chlorine – when dissolved in water. Chlorine is the only chemical that provides residual protection, which is very important and required in many water treatment applications.

Working with UBC to develop a water treatment system that meets First Nations needs

Written by Marketing on . Posted in News

Small UV pilot plant is designed to address cultural and safe drinking water needs cost-effectively

Reseau Mobile Pilot Plant for First Nations water treatmentMobile pilot plant goes on the road to First Nations communities Reseau Mobile Pilot Plant for First Nations water treatmentJim Brown, water operator for Lytton First Nation (CTV First Story photo) Reseau Mobile Pilot Plant for First Nations water treatmentUBC research team with pilot water treatment plant (CTV First Story photo)
BI Pure Water worked with UBC researchers and Lytton First Nation to develop a water disinfection system that addresses the needs of native communities, both cultural values as well as the basic necessity of clean drinking water.

“We can’t continue to have these people living off the current system they have now with just chlorine as a disinfectant because of the high turbidity … the chlorine residual goes up so the people say they don’t like to drink the water because most of the time the chlorine residual is too high. Maybe that is one of the reasons they have sores or don’t feel very good after they have a bath,” says Jim Brown, water maintenance manager of Lytton First Nation recently in a CTV First Story news report.

“We believe many First Nations and other small communities have difficulties retaining trained operators or even have the equipment to deal with turbidity events,” says George Thorpe, BI Pure Water VP and engineer. BI Pure Water has disinfection systems and supplies chlorine products and servicing to more than a dozen First Nations communities across Western Canada. People may also be concerned the chemicals will alter the spiritual quality of the element, according to the CTV news report.

“Often in communities we realize if they have sufficient information and they know it is absolutely necessary to add a little bit of chlorine in their water they don’t have any objections,” says Madjid Mohseni, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC. “The objections to the chlorine comes when it’s too much chlorine and if it’s unnecessary addition of chlorine. So by collecting sufficient info from source of water and putting UV treatment as part of our treatment package we are minimizing the amount of chlorine that needs to be added,” says Dr. Mohseni.

A small cost efficient treatment system was designed that utilizes a basket strainer to remove large particles and organic items that may be pumped from the creek and could plug valves or other components, a self-cleaning filter to reduce particles above 25 microns and some pathogens, a bag filter to remove contaminants down to 10 microns, a UV disinfection unit to neutralize bacteria, cysts and common viruses to required levels, and chlorine residual disinfection to remove microbiological buildup in the piping and remove any viruses left after UV disinfection. The system will be financed by UBC and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).

Although the pilot project will only serve 5-6 homes on the west side of the Fraser River near Lytton – the community of Nickeyeah – Mohseni hopes the project will serve as a blueprint for First Nations communities across the country. As of May 31, 2014, there were 130 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 91 First Nation communities across Canada, not including BC which reports differently. Half of First Nations water systems in BC are deemed to be high risk; last year 20% of First Nations across Canada were forced to buy or boil their drinking water, according to CTV News.

Lytton water maintenance manager Jim Brown had other interesting things to say about First Nations water treatment: “I visited an old lady on a private system and she says, “Jim , years ago we lost alot of kids from diarrhea. They had no idea why the kids were dying, that’s because of the E.coli. They were taking the water right out of the ditch and consuming it. They had no idea – to this day that lady doesn’t understand – it’s because her system isn’t chlorinated”.

“If I could drink out of a tap and it was good water I’d be saving millions,” says Nickeyeah elder Ruby Dunstan who buys several litres a week of bottled drinking water for her family since moving to the area about 20 years ago.

With the new treatment system band members will have access to clean drinking water right out of the tap — surface water that band members have been using for generations without being worried about microbial contamination.

Nickeyeah relies on a small sloped creek for their drinking water which is significantly affected by seasons and weather. Spring snowmelt and alot of rain, etc, affect the quality of water so as a result for a majority of the year the community is on a boil water advisory.

Sixth Nunavut treatment plant contract awarded to BI Pure Water

Written by Marketing on . Posted in News

Sixth Nunavut treatment plant contract awarded to BI Pure Water

Super-insulated containers are built and delivered nearly ready to operate by locals

Taloyoak Nunavut water treatment plant with renewable energyTaloyoak, Nunavut water treatment plant with wind and solar renewable energy sources
BI Pure Water has been awarded its sixth water treatment plant contract in Nunavut in the past three years. The community of Kugluktuk (formerly Coppermine) will receive a new water treatment system in a package plant to replace the old, for $2million. BI Pure Water of Surrey, BC is working with consulting engineer Williams Engineering and the contractor is NDL Construction in Winnipeg.

Working with the same contractors and Stantec Consulting, BI Pure Water was also awarded the Cambridge Bay treatment plant upgrade for $5.2 million in May. There were no other bidders for the remote Arctic communities. The population of Cambridge Bay is 1600 and 1450 for Kugluktuk.

“We’ve been building and servicing treatment plants in very cold climates for many years now and we’re happy to use that experience to provide safe, consistent water quality for other remote communities,“ says Scott Foster, President of BI Pure Water.

BI Pure Water has already successfully designed, delivered, installed and trained local operators for water treatment plants in Baker Lake, Kugaaruk, Taloyoak and Chesterfield Inlet, as well as a Canadian Forces Radar Station Fox 2. on Baffin Island.

Each of the treatment plants called for extraordinary insulation values. Taloyoak required consideration of social and environmental factors, with minimal impact on the fragile northern environment. Sustainable solar and wind are the primary energy sources for Taloyoak’s operation. The severe arctic weather calls for extra insulation in the plant’s containers, and the insulated intake lines are installed well below the surface, and heated to prevent freezing.

The systems are designed with media filtration, ultraviolet irradiation and chlorination. The plants are designed to deliver up to 1,200 L/min (72 m3/hr for Baker Lake). BI Pure Water supplied its remote monitoring and trending system to provide trending of important parameters to computer screens in the community, and to the BI Pure offices in Surrey. Ongoing training is the result, with BI Pure staff available to help the operator diagnose problems in real time.

Incorporating UV into your pool treatment

Written by Marketing on . Posted in pool disinfection

Incorporating UV into your pool treatment

“The installation and startup was speedy and we are already noticing many positive benefits. The chloramine level is low. The typical pool smell is gone, swimmers are happy and chlorine use has significantly dropped. BI Pure Water worked with us to train the operator and fine tune the UV equipment.” –Jim Raddysh, Salt Spring’s facility manager

Ultraviolet disinfection units are currently being incorporated in municipal drinking water treatment systems, by federal legislation, to great success. And increasingly your public is asking to bathe in a swimming pool disinfected without high levels of chlorine or other chemical additives.

Chlorine tends to react with perspiration, oils, hair and urine from swimmers to form chloramines. Chloramines are unhealthy to breath and can cause an acrid odour. Some research suggests chloramines may increase the risk of asthma to swimmers.

Adding a UV component will typically increase the cost of a water treatment system by about $60,000. It does improve water clarity, will cut your use of chemicals typically by 50 per cent, and with the popularity of UV may well give your facility a competitive advantage.

Saltspring Island pool with UV unit installed in addition to chlorination
We’ve found UV in conjunction with a chlorinator to be very effective and benign water treatment. UV works in several ways. UV primarily works to kill bacteria, viruses, and moulds/spores. It’s secondary action initiates photochemical and photo-oxidation reactions which destroy the chloramines.

For most pools an efficient chlorininator is still the most cost efficient system, but those with larger budgets and discriminating customers, UV is the way to go.


Emergency water treatment plant arrives for Ontario First Nations Community

Call us:

In Vancouver: