Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine

People

Monday, May 24th, 2004

Kahler gets Alfa presidency; Smith heads up Pa. division
Michael Kahler was appointed president of the Process Technology Division of Alfa Laval Inc., of Richmond, Va., in January. Kahler joins Alfa Laval after holding various positions at Nalco Chemical Co., of Chicago, including most recently group vice president and president of its Industrial Division since 2002. He also served as chairman of the board for the Nalco Foundation, a charitable arm of the company. During his years with Nalco, Kahler gained extensive experience with commercial, institutional, light industrial, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, paper making, chemical, steel, refinery, automotive, primary metals and power generation customers. He has a bachelor’s degree in natural science from Xavier University. In other company news, the Parts and Service Division of Alfa Laval Inc., of Warminster, Pa., welcomed its new president, Brent Smith. His appointment became effective as of February. Smith joined the company in 2002 as vice president of human resources. He has a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.

Leunig recognized by WQA
The Water Quality Association (WQA) presented, at its convention in March, an Award of Merit to Thomas Leunig, CWS-IV, in recognition of his exceptional service given to the water quality improvement industry and, specifically, for outstanding support of and commitment to an association program. Leunig, marketing manager at GE Water Technologes, has been active in the WQA for more than 18 years and has served on numerous WQA committees and task forces including: Convention, Standard 61 Materials Safety, Educational Services, Ion Exchange, Membership Marketing, Plumbing Code, Public Relations and the State Certification Review. He’s helped with fundraising throughout the nation. He recently spearheaded the WQA/NSF certification for GE’s product line to independent OEMs and dealers throughout North America.

Stanbury dubbed top member
Robert Stanbury, vice president of engineering for Flowserve Pump Division, of Irving, Texas, was named the Hydraulic Institute 2003 Member of the Year. He works out of Flowserve’s Technology Center in Dayton, Ohio. The award was presented to Stanbury during a dinner at Hydraulic Institute’s 87th annual meeting in Naples, Fla. With an engineering background in jet engines, mixers and fans, Stanbury began his career in the pump industry when he joined Durco Europe, a subsidiary of Flowserve Corp., in 1995. A graduate of Cambridge University, Stanbury holds a degree in mechanical sciences and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.

Fly parts ways with Alamo
Sid Fly has officially resigned his position as director of international sales from Alamo Water Refiners, of San Antonio. He can be reached at (210) 912-5998 or email: sidfly@aol.com  

Koch welcomes new director
Membrane technology specialist Antonia von Gottberg has joined Koch Membrane Systems, of Wilmington, Mass., as the corporation’s new director of municipal water technology.  Previously, von Gottberg was director of municipal water and wastewater at Ionics Inc. She received a master’s degree in engineering science from Cambridge University as well as a master’s degree in science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ask the Expert

Monday, May 24th, 2004

Removing TCE
Question: I found your site through a link from “Well Manager,” on which I had been researching a solution for my family’s home. It happens that this past week a water test revealed the well water contained 44.0 micrograms per liter (µg/L) of trichloroethylene, which is 8.8 times the standard acceptable level. Is there any process or filter to address this situation? Also, we do not yet know the cause or source of the chemical in our well. We had received a letter from our town urging the homeowners in the neighborhood to test because someone else had found a much smaller percentage in their water when digging to put in a new well. If there is any advice you can offer in this predicament, please let us know.

Michael Maldonado
Spencer, Mass.

Answer: Well water with 44 parts per billion (ppb)—1 µg/L = 1 ppb—of trichloroethylene (TCE) does require treatment since the Safe Drinking Water Act has designated TCE levels above 5 ppb as a health concern. The USEPA is currently re-evaluating the health effects from TCE and an update is anticipated in 2005. TCE is a colorless, organic liquid used primarily to remove grease from metal parts and some textiles. It is also used in paint strippers, printing correction fluids, adhesives, spot removers, etc.

There are two concerns with this water. First is the long term effect from drinking it and, second, is inhalation during showering, clothes or dish washing, etc., where volatile TCE becomes airborne and then subject to inhalation. Drinking or ingestion has a moderate toxicity over an extended period of time and may induce liver problems or increase risk of cancer. Inhalation is regarded as having low toxicity resulting in potential for some neurological effects.

For drinking water, any point-of-use (POU) carbon filter that conforms to ANSI/NSF 53 and has a product data sheet claiming TCE removal should be adequate. Standard 53 requires a product to reduce TCE levels from 300 to 5 ppb or less. It’s important to follow the installation and maintenance instructions, particularly the carbon element replacement schedule. Product certified for TCE treatment can be found on the Internet at www.nsf.org/certified/dwtu/, www.wqa.org/sitelogic.cfm?ID =1165 or www.ul.com/water/—if you have trouble loading the page, go to the root website and search under the product certification sections. Check with your local water treatment professional, also, because he may have already solved this problem in a neighboring well.

For both inhalation and drinking concerns, a point-of-entry (POE) carbon tank filter or an aeration system may be used. Both need to be properly sized for the application flow rates expected. Aeration equipment is relatively complex but the simpler carbon tank filter requires scheduled replacement of the carbon. A local water treatment professional can help with the sizing and installation of either of these means of treatment. Scheduled testing of the water is recommended to confirm effective treatment of the water.

At these levels, the source of this contamination is almost certainly from nearby industrial activity, and I would be after the authorities to locate the culprit, who should be forced to pay for remediation.

Global Spotlight

Monday, May 24th, 2004

Former USEPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman will present the opening address—“Shaping the Future: America’s Environment Today”—on May 24 at the Fourth International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds in Monterey, Calif. 💧

In March, GE showcased some of its technologies in Washington, D.C. The 10-day event, “Imagination Nation,” featured products from six GE businesses including a RO machine from GE Water & Process Technologies. The event was designed for consumers, business leaders and government officials. 💧

Watertown, Mass.-based Ionics Inc. restructured and consolidated its Australian operations under Ionics Australasia Pty. Ltd.  Effective March 31, this new entity was integrated and carried out the business activities performed by its Ionics Watertec Pty. Ltd. and Elite Chemicals Pty. Ltd. business units. 💧

Lord Corp., of Cary, N.C., makers of a metal treatment and coating system for corrosion control of ferrous metal, announced an exclusive marketing agreement with Terramix S.A., of San Jose, Costa Rica. Terramix is a manufacturer of rubber gaskets for pipe products worldwide. 💧

WEDECO AG Water Technology, of Germany, acquired 15.2 percent of the shares in WEDECO Gesellschaft für Umwelt-technologie mbH from Paris-based Veolia Water Systems S. A. WEDECO now holds all shares in the parent company of WEDECO’s ozone business. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed. In other news, WEDECO AG reported a 12.5 percent drop in 2003 revenue, due in part to relocation of its U.S. operations into joint facilities in North Carolina. 💧

Global demand for water treatment products is forecast to increase 6.6 percent per year through 2007 (including price increases) to nearly $35 billion. This and other projections are presented in “World Water Treatment Products,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial research firm. 💧

The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research is accepting applications for the Paul L. Busch Award, which carries with it a $100,000 research grant for researchers to continue their work, take risks and explore new directions and benefits in practical solutions to wastewater problems. Applications must be received by June 1.💧

American Water Star Inc., of Las Vegas, added the second largest U.S. grocery wholesaler as a distributor in California. The new distributor currently delivers to 4,000 independent supermarkets, major supermarket chains, mass marketers and wholesale clubs. 💧

Rob Renner, deputy executive director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) since 1996, was named the next executive director of the Instrumentation, System and Automation Society. He will end his AWWA service following the group’s annual conference and exposition next month. 💧


U.S. concerned about water
The majority of Americans worry about the purity of their drinking water, a poll released in early April indicated. The Gallup Poll said 53 percent of respondents were concerned “a great deal” about pollution of drinking water supplies. The next highest concerns were over pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs and contamination of soil and water by toxic waste. The survey indicated that, in general, the level of concern over environmental issues had dropped from highs of several years ago. Among issues presented to respondents, the environment ranked as the 10th highest concern. The top three issues cited as high concerns were the availability and affordability of healthcare, crime and violence, and drug use. The survey’s findings are based on telephone interviews with 1,005 U.S. adults conducted March 8-11. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

USEPA misleads in report
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) incorrectly claimed to have met its goals of ensuring that at least 91 percent of the nation’s drinking water met federal health-based standards from 1999 to 2002, the agency’s inspector general said in mid-March. The agency claims the report is the most comprehensive set of information available about violations at public water systems. About 54,000 community water systems supply water to 268 million Americans, the report said, so each percentage point reported by the USEPA represents about 2.6 million people. In one instance, the USEPA inspector general’s office noted that last June—during the final days of Christie Whitman’s tenure as USEPA administrator—the agency inaccurately claimed, “Our drinking water is purer. In 2002, 94 percent of Americans were served by drinking water systems that meet our health-based standards an increase of 15 percent in the last decade,” the Associated Press reported. The detailed 2003 USEPA report can be found at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/data/pdfs/factoids_2003.pdf

Remember the Alamo site; firm inks deal with TexSon
On March 15, San Antonio-based Alamo Water Refiners Inc. launched a new and improved website: www.alamowater.com. Among the site’s new features are the ability to download the company’s complete products catalog, order select products through an online shopping cart, and gain access to valuable dealer training information. The company’s re-designed website offers a plethora of new content, information and services such as training information, frequently asked questions, company news, alliances and partnerships, and location of dealers. The company said it will update the site regularly while featuring a different product on the home page every month. In other news, Alamo has formed an alliance with a new water treatment products company headed by veteran former employees that will serve the needs of certain longtime customers. The non-competitive referral agreement is between Alamo Water and TexSon Water Inc. Under the agreement, customers who call Alamo Water in search of water treatment products that the company no longer carries will be referred to TexSon Water. TexSon will carry many non-stock items and special order products that may be phased out of the Alamo Water inventory. In turn, TexSon Water will not approach existing Alamo Water clients nor accept requests for products or services that Alamo Water provides for those customers. TexSon Water is headed by Scott Buss and Dan Cammack, son of Alamo Water founder Huette “Sonny” Cammack.

Red Jacket seeks all-stars
Red Jacket Water Products dealers can earn rewards for purchasing the company’s pumps and tanks as part of a new sales incentive program kicked off March 1. The “Be An All Star” promotion is similar to the rewards program that ended successfully last October—over 960 professional independent dealers participated in that program, which took place during the company’s 125th anniversary celebration. To be an All Star, dealers must buy Red Jacket pumps and/or tanks between March 1 and Sept. 24. A dealer who buys five pumps or tanks earns his choice of a crewneck sweatshirt and hat, hooded sweatshirt or tape measure and buck knife as a Level 1 All-Star. If a dealer purchases 25 more pumps and/or tanks for a total of 30, he keeps the first level rewards and can choose between a charbroil smoker, a pair of hiking boots or duck vest and gloves as a Level 2 All-Star. Buy just 20 more products for a total of 50 and keep the first two rewards and a dealer will receive a heavy-duty jacket or golf bag as a Level 3 All-Star. Distributor kits and dealer brochures detailing the program are available by contacting a Red Jacket salesman or the company. Red Jacket is owned by ITT Industries.

STS buys indoor air firm
On March 16, Fort Washington, Pa.-based Severn Trent Services (STS) purchased Phoenix-based Aerotech Laboratories Inc. Aerotech is an analytical company specializing in the indoor air quality market including mold testing, food microbiology, industrial hygiene, bioterrorism response analysis and general environmental testing. Aerotech operations include major laboratory facilities in Phoenix, an air sampling supplies and equipment business also in Phoenix, as well as a service center in Tucson, Ariz.

WQA, RAI sign deal for trade show; members use TCS to follow industry
The Water Quality Association and RAI—at the WQA convention in Baltimore—signed a non-binding letter of intent to form a show, WQA Aquatech USA. Final details were expected to be completed by June 1. The first joint show will be held in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 29–April 2, 2005, as part of WQA’s 31st annual convention. This new show—similar to Aquatech Amsterdam, which RAI also runs—will bring together a diverse group of water-related industries under one roof, a first in the United States. It’s anticipated that high purity, industrial, wastewater and other water-related specialties will become involved with the show over time. The goal—like Aquatech Amsterdam, the largest water industry event in the world—is to bring a broad range of industries under one roof, at one place, at one event to benefit everyone including dealers, manufacturers, retailers and exhibitors. In addition, other groups and associations will be invited to become a part of the show. RAI and WQA anticipate the show will build rapidly over the first three years, maturing into an exhibition perhaps five times as large as the current WQA show by 2007. The WQA Board of Governors voted to approve the venture at its March 19 meeting. This will set in motion final negotiations for a contractural arrangement that will likely be presented to the WQA Board for ratification at its May meeting. The WQA Aquatech USA show will be a for-profit entity separate from WQA’s other activities. Unlike Aquatech Amsterdam, it will be an annual event. Meanwhile, RAI announced it would discontinue its annual Brazilian show, Aquatech FITMA, due to declining exhibitors and attendance. The last show in Brazil was held June 3-5, 2003, in São Paulo in conjunction with the IV Southern Cone Regional Congress of Sanitary Engineers of AIDIS—the Interamerican Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineers. RAI also produces another biennial event, Aquatech Asia, in Bangkok, Thailand, along with the Southeast Asian Water Summit. It was held in Singapore in 1996 and 1998. The WQA event is expected to move annually among a targeted group of cities to draw the most in terms of exhibitors and attendees.

In other news, the WQA completed in early April an Internet-based system that gives its members access to all aspects of critical POU/POE initiatives—domestic and international—from its website, www.wqa.org. Called the Task Control System (TCS), it’s both the core WQA management mechanism for tracking all key industry initiatives and regulatory issues—now called “tasks”—and a member review and input system that gives them the opportunity to comment on every task and submit proposed tasks. Through this interactive window into the WQA, members can find issues that affect their business—both short- and long-term, review the charge that drives a given task, and look at timelines, communications, ongoing actions, minutes and deliverables. Members can easily customize their personal home page to show them only tasks they want to track. They can even opt to have an email sent to them whenever information changes on a given task. One major goal of the WQA Board of Directors in the restructuring process was to increase opportunities for every member to take part in the association. The TCS allows members to submit proposed tasks, comment on the work of every Task Force, and to keep track of all the work of the association as it happens. A second goal was to give WQA members a competitive advantage in the POU/POE marketplace with the most current information available so they can grow and prosper in a dramatically changing business environment.

Dasani yanked off shelves; European rollout postponed
The Coca-Cola Co. said in mid-March that it recalled its entire Dasani line of bottled water from the British market after levels of bromate, a potentially harmful chemical, were found to exceed legal standards. In addition, it indefinitely postponed its rollout of Dasani in France and Germany, which were to be the first in continental Europe, due to the publicity issues raised in Britain. The launch in France was scheduled for mid-April, and Germany’s by early summer. Coca-Cola consulted the Food Standards Agency, Britain’s food quality watchdog, which said the withdrawal was a “sensible” measure. The recall, described by Coca-Cola as a voluntary precautionary measure, may prove to be a serious setback to the company’s efforts to break into the British bottled water market. It was recently criticized in British media after its disclosure that Dasani was in fact treated and purified tap water, a practice not uncommon in the bottled water industry. The recall of about 500,000 bottles of Dasani, which applies only to the British market, was to be completed within 24 hours. British limits for bromate, a non-metallic salt, in bottled and tap waters are 10 parts per billion (ppb), Coca-Cola said, and Dasani samples had tested at between “borderline” (about 10) and 22 ppb. European tap water limits are 25 parts per billion. Coca-Cola said the bromate was formed during the ozone gas purification process it used in Dasani manufacturing and bottling. To ensure that Dasani meets calcium levels required in all UK bottled water products, it adds calcium chloride, a derivative of bromide. Dasani is the No. 2 bottled water brand in the United States. Dasani is essentially filtered and treated municipal water. About two of every five bottles of water sold globally are produced in this way.

China improves in report, shortage remains a concern
Drinking water sources in most of China’s key cities have been given clean bills of health after being tested in February by the State Environmental Protection Administration. Still, the situation wasn’t good in Chongqing Municipality in the southwest part of the country, Harbin in the northeastern Heilong-jiang province, and Changsha in the central Hunan province. The quality of all of the cities’ source water wasn’t up to the national standard, as was the case in January, the administration said in a monthly release covering 47 key cities. The biggest concern was the major pollutant index, which exceeded standards in terms of nitrogen and fecal coliform. They are mainly attributable to human and agricultural pollution, but experts said people shouldn’t be alarmed. The nitrogen didn’t surpass levels that are harmful to humans and fecal coliform is easily disposed of by water treatment facilities. Nevertheless, water resources are being overused in China. For example, 60 percent of the water in the Huaihe River, 65 percent of the water in the Liaohe River, and 62 percent of the water in the Yellow River water is being drawn. It’s agreed internationally that 30 to 40 percent is the warning level for water use. In addition to rivers, much of China’s drinking water comes from groundwater sources. Nearly 60 percent of the 669 cities in the country don’t have enough water, and 110 of them are suffering from serious shortages.

Kärcher granted UN contract
The United Nations (UN), based in New York City, has awarded Kärcher, of Winnenden, Germany, a contract to build and supply up to 45 mobile drinking water treatment plants. Twenty systems have already been delivered. The UN recently decided to purchase a new generation of drinking water treatment plants for its aid missions and invited international tenders for the project. The plant is suitable for treating heavily polluted surface, ground and spring water that would represent a considerable health risk to the population if it were left untreated. The system consists of two, 20-foot ISO containers. One of them houses the actual drinking water treatment plant, and the other accommodates the ancillary equipment such as water tanks, pumps and a water laboratory. The plant has a capacity of about 528 gallons of drinking water per hour and uses the physical principle of ultrafiltration. Water is forced through a membrane under pressure. Turbid substances, bacteria and other contaminants are greatly reduced in the process.

WQA, RAI sign deal for trade show; members use TCS to follow industry
The Water Quality Association and RAI—at the WQA convention in Baltimore—signed a non-binding letter of intent to form a show, WQA Aquatech USA. Final details were expected to be completed by June 1. The first joint show will be held in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, March 29–April 2, 2005, as part of WQA’s 31st annual convention. This new show—similar to Aquatech Amsterdam, which RAI also runs—will bring together a diverse group of water-related industries under one roof, a first in the United States. It’s anticipated that high purity, industrial, wastewater and other water-related specialties will become involved with the show over time. The goal—like Aquatech Amsterdam, the largest water industry event in the world—is to bring a broad range of industries under one roof, at one place, at one event to benefit everyone including dealers, manufacturers, retailers and exhibitors. In addition, other groups and associations will be invited to become a part of the show. RAI and WQA anticipate the show will build rapidly over the first three years, maturing into an exhibition perhaps five times as large as the current WQA show by 2007. The WQA Board of Governors voted to approve the venture at its March 19 meeting. This will set in motion final negotiations for a contractural arrangement that will likely be presented to the WQA Board for ratification at its May meeting. The WQA Aquatech USA show will be a for-profit entity separate from WQA’s other activities. Unlike Aquatech Amsterdam, it will be an annual event. Meanwhile, RAI announced it would discontinue its annual Brazilian show, Aquatech FITMA, due to declining exhibitors and attendance. The last show in Brazil was held June 3-5, 2003, in São Paulo in conjunction with the IV Southern Cone Regional Congress of Sanitary Engineers of AIDIS—the Interamerican Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineers. RAI also produces another biennial event, Aquatech Asia, in Bangkok, Thailand, along with the Southeast Asian Water Summit. It was held in Singapore in 1996 and 1998. The WQA event is expected to move annually among a targeted group of cities to draw the most in terms of exhibitors and attendees.

In other news, the WQA completed in early April an Internet-based system that gives its members access to all aspects of critical POU/POE initiatives—domestic and international—from its website, www.wqa.org. Called the Task Control System (TCS), it’s both the core WQA management mechanism for tracking all key industry initiatives and regulatory issues—now called “tasks”—and a member review and input system that gives them the opportunity to comment on every task and submit proposed tasks. Through this interactive window into the WQA, members can find issues that affect their business—both short- and long-term, review the charge that drives a given task, and look at timelines, communications, ongoing actions, minutes and deliverables. Members can easily customize their personal home page to show them only tasks they want to track. They can even opt to have an email sent to them whenever information changes on a given task. One major goal of the WQA Board of Directors in the restructuring process was to increase opportunities for every member to take part in the association. The TCS allows members to submit proposed tasks, comment on the work of every Task Force, and to keep track of all the work of the association as it happens. A second goal was to give WQA members a competitive advantage in the POU/POE marketplace with the most current information available so they can grow and prosper in a dramatically changing business environment.

Letters

Monday, May 24th, 2004

Revisiting old themes
Dear Editor:
I am an avid reader of WC&P magazine. I am a newcomer to this field. I have some suggestions to make, which are as follows:  

  1. Please include articles on cooling tower water treatment, boiler water treatment including softener treatment, sand filter treatment, carbon filter treatment, whole process of RO water treatment, deionization, wastewater treatment, etc.
  2. On the above mentioned topics, please include articles with complete conceptual process designs.

I work for a U.S.-based multinational company in its Pakistan affiliate. Thank you for your cooperation and consideration.

Dr. Athar Jabbar Qureshi
Karchi, Pakistan

Editor’s response: We’ve had some wonderful articles on these topics in the past that remain very popular at our website:

  • “Softeners: Going Against the Flow—Co-Current v. Counter-Current Regeneration,” Jim Hunt and John Beauchamp, March 1999
  • “Electrodeionization: Making DI Water without Bottles,” Jan d’Ailly and David F. Tessier, Ph.D., March 2001
  • “Boiler Feed Water: Reducing Scale & Corrosion, Part 1 of 2,” C.F. (Chubb) Michaud, CWS-VI, March 2001, www. wcponline.com/NewsView.cfm?pkArticle ID=768
  • “Boiler Feed Water: Reducing Scale & Corrosion, Part 2 of 2,” C.F. (Chubb) Michaud, CWS-VI, April 2001, www. wcponline.com/NewsView.cfm?pkArticle ID=830
  • “Filtration Media: Making the Right Choice—A Reference Guide for Dealers,” James A. Hunt, May 2001, www.wcponline. com/NewsView.cfm?pkArticleID=1395
  • “DI Basics: Understanding Deionization,” James A. Hunt, March 2002,
  • “Wastewater: Nanofiltration in DI Rinse Recycle—A Case Study,” James A. Hunt, February 2003, www.wcponline.com News View.cfm?pkArticleID=1982

Many of the readers’ favorite articles in WC&P are written by current or past members of our Technical Review Committee. Peter Cartwright and Larry Henke have been prolific on RO, membrane separation, filtration, UV and ozone applications. Meyers also did a nice series on “Water Softening: The Fundamentals Theory,” in November and December 2000 and Michaud did a popular series on the “Basics of Chemistry,” which ran in the April, May and June 1999 issues. The last series was translated into Spanish and Portuguese, and also ran in the March/April, May/June and July/August 2003 issues of Agua Latinoamérica (PDFs are available at www.agualatinoamerica.com).

You can find other relevant articles by entering in the last name of any author above or using a key word or phrase to search our online database. If not immediately available online, you can request a copy be faxed to you. You can also hit the “Archive” button at the top of the page to view or request articles year-by-year and issue-by-issue. While slower, you’ll see some of the wonderful cover images we’ve used over the years.

Regardless, thanks for your letter. It reminds us that it’s good to revisit these topics every few years to update readers on the latest advancements or achievements in that particular application. We appreciate your advice.


Correction: In the March issue, we mistakenly reported in an author’s bio the locations of laboratories of National Testing Labs. They’re in Cleveland, Michigan, Florida and Virginia. We apologize for any confusion.

Viewpoint

Monday, May 24th, 2004

By Carlos David Mogollón, WC&P Executive Editor

Catchall—Buyer’s Guide tips, career center, missing faces and WQA kudos

I’d like to start off this month’s column with our 2004-05 WC&P Buyer’s Guide, which you should have just received. For the last couple of years, we’ve been streamlining it to make it easier to find information you need on water treatment equipment and services you’re seeking. Still, some of you have been helping us unnecessarily.

While proofing the final version of the Buyer’s Guide, I jotted down a list of companies missing because they failed to fill out a questionnaire and send it back on time. Just my short list, which was by no means exhaustive, would have added nearly 75 additional entries. I should point out, in addition to mailing, faxing and emailing it out to over 1,500 companies, we made the questionnaire available on our website for three months.

We would point out that not only should parent companies include a listing for themselves, but for related companies and divisions as well. After all, the basic listing is free. And a number of companies that did submit entries failed to check off product categories for their equipment or services. These product categories are often the first place someone thumbing through the guide looks to when seeking companies for planned purchases. While we understand there are a lot of surveys to fill out in this day and age, taking time with the Buyer’s Guide questionnaire can help prospective customers find you—and that helps your bottom line. It also helps us make it the most comprehensive serving the POU/POE industry.*

Next, we’ve added another tool for water industry professionals, a forum for job seekers and employers alike, that you can find at our website—www.wcponline.com (see the button for WCP Jobs Central). Whether looking for quality employees or to advance your career, you can post or search jobs and résumés with ease.

On another note, among the faces we noticed missing at this year’s WQA convention in Baltimore (see review in this issue) was Jorge Fernandez, Pentair Water’s senior vice president for emerging markets who chaired the WQA Manufacturers Section. We spoke with him afterward and found out he retired and was looking forward to some time off after all the travel he’d been doing to China and India. He plans to visit relatives in Argentina, enjoy his boat and work as a consultant.

Fernandez thought the news regarding an alliance between WQA and Aquatech RAI to expand the trade show next year was an excellent idea: “The industry needs that. It will create a lot of opportunities as will the consolidation in the industry you mentioned, which will create new opportunities for entrepreneurs… If things turn out well, I believe you’ll see me again soon. I hope to still have a chance to stir the waters, so to speak.”

Lastly, don’t forget to check our website for additional information on the WQA-RAI alliance as well as WQA winning liaison status within the European Union’s standards process (see Web Exclusive)—a position not held by the AWWA, WEF, IBWA, NGWA,… and that also gives it added attraction for prospective commercial/industrial water treatment members. On this coup, past Aqua Europa chairman Tony Frost, of the UK’s Aqua Focus Ltd., said:

WQA’s achievement of liaison with CEN/TC164 is significant because it will enable WQA members to gain more direct access to the standards for products and materials suitability evolving within Europe. It’s obviously important, when a major portion of the products used in Europe originate from the USA, that the manufacturers are aware of, and hopefully able to contribute to, these developing requirements (albeit, many product standards are already in their final stages). Otherwise, the consequence could be sudden failure to comply with new requirements, without warning or time to adapt products accordingly. The achievement of liaison with TC164 is also significant in underlining the increased emphasis WQA has placed on addressing its ‘global’ identification. And it’s a tribute to Andy Warnes’ persistence and determination against difficult odds.”

* A supplement to the Buyer’s Guide runs in the July issue, so if your company wasn’t in it, contact us : info@wcponline.com. These are also incorporated in the guide’s web version at www.wcponline.com

Executive Q&A

Monday, May 24th, 2004

By Carlos David Mogollón, WC&P Executive Editor

APW’s Bechtold Bests the Field

Jerry Bechtold joined the water treatment industry during his senior year in high school, working part-time  for a Servisoft dealership in Gary, Ind., in the late ’50s. He wound up as manager of the dealership a few years later and bought it in 1967. Two years after that, he sold it and headed for Florida
In Vero Beach, he opened a retail-assembly dealership that, at its height, had two stores, 1,200 rental accounts and moved 50 softener units a month. Whenever he ran across a problem, he would jot down ideas on equipment and other remedies to solve them in a notebook. In 1980, he decided to launch Automated Pure Water (APW) Inc. to begin putting some of those ideas into production. After his son, Jeffrey, came on board in the mid-’80s to manage the retail operation, he concentrated on manufacturing. He sold the retail side in the early ’90s.

Automated Pure Water, Inc.
4350 5th Street SW
Vero Beach, FL 32968
Tel: (772) 567-2488; Fax (772) 567-2503
Website: www.apwinc.com
Management: Jerry Bechtold, President
Employees: 3
Revenues: $1 million annually; doubles every 3-4 years
Operations: Contract manufacturer of a variety of water treatment equipment solutions such as chemical-mixers, retention tanks, chemical feeders, the Super Funnel, Sand Trap, Mineral Extractor and a variety of adapters for different size threaded and unthreaded tanks

“That notebook is what still to this day we’re working off of, though. All of the different, unique things that we’re doing have all come out of that notebook,” Bechtold said.

Today, the business is a $1-million-a-year operation that provides an array of products designed to offer dealers flexibility and unique, simple ways to handle solutions for largely rural water treatment problems. And since production is handled in Taiwan, Bechtold, 62, only employs three people at APW.

“What I’m doing is finding little niches in this market no one has ever bothered to fill,” he said. One is a clear tube-like unit used to expel old resin from a tank using pressure from a garden hose. Another is a baffled tube for mixing chemicals. Then there’s a tank unit for separating and settling out sand, particulate and oxidized organics. Bechtold said he’s discontinuing an inverted-pyramid funnel unit that’s used to feed resin or media into a tank, not to mention many durable adapters he’s developed to allow dealers to assemble systems using just about any tank, threaded or unthreaded.

None of his products have NSF certification because none are completed systems. They’re designed to be integrated into a system, for instance, that incorporates a whole-house carbon filter or softener. Bechtold said he’s not interested in providing softeners or any equipment other than what his company makes.

“My business philosophy—and keep in mind, I’m not trying to make the last buck I can get out of a dealer—is I want to sell products that are my products,” he said. “I don’t want to sell products for which I actually represent another company. All our products are our own ideas and we are responsible for getting them to market one way or another.”

About 30 percent of his business is overseas with most of that for a tablet chlorinator that’s popular in Third World countries because it’s mechanical and requires no power source. His equipment, which is sized only for piping up to 1-1/2 inches, can also be “manifolded” for larger commercial applications such as a recent shipment of eight retention tanks for a hotel-casino project in the Bahamas.

 

 

PipeLines

Monday, May 24th, 2004

By Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor

Missouri WQA Serves Up Plateful of Activities for June Meeting

President Mike Chaudoir, of the Missouri Water Quality Association (MOWQA), is heading up what promises to be a very productive and informative summer meeting in Branson, Mo., on June 4-5. On Friday the 4th, time will be set aside (8-11 a.m.) for national Water Quality Association exams. In the afternoon, four educational seminars are scheduled:

  • John Ressler, of Pro-Bot Co., discusses how to “Unleash Your Business with a Computer”
  • Andy Ziegler, of Waterline Technology, talks about how to “Target Advertising to Increase Customers”
  • Gary Battenberg, of Hague Quality Water Intl., will tell attendees “How to Run a Profitable Service Department”
  • Robin Householder, of Oasis Corp., expounds on “Disinfection and Sales of Coolers”

Between seminars—the last to end at 4:30 p.m.—and the evening meal, a “member mixer” will include at least 10 members’ booths. On Saturday, attendees will discuss old business and listen to an update on the septic tank issue from the Task Force Committee. In addition, the association’s website will be reviewed for possible changes. The MOWQA’s Kelly Imhoff was authorized to change the current site over to a Front Page design program for easier editing. Before making any alterations to the site, Chaudoir wants feedback from members on changes or additions to the site, as well as to see if there’s anyone in the membership experienced in web design with time available to work on the site. New business at the meeting will consist of electing new board members for 2005-2006 (two-year terms). Board members whose terms expire on Dec. 31 are David Steidemann and Orville Schaefer, a WC&P Technical Review Committee member.  

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has revised continuing education requirements for water well drillers and pump installers. The revisions went into effect Dec. 1. According to a newsletter from the Texas Ground Water Association, “one provision provides that in order to renew their licenses, water well drillers and pump installers must complete four hours of continuing education per year, with one hour dedicated to water well drillers/pump installer statutes and rules. Only courses approved by the TDLR can be used to satisfy this requirement.”

At a time when everything seems to cost more, the Colorado Water Quality Association (CWQA) has passed a “free lunch” onto its members by waiving (yes, I did say waiving) this year’s member’s dues. According to The Flowmeter, CWQA’s newsletter, the exemption is due to the association’s website and its new features that include a listing of paid membership among dealer/retailer or manufacturer/wholesaler categories per calendar year. Because of this, 2004 will be an adjustment period to that rotation. Meanwhile, billing for 2005 fees will be sent to members in November—due at the end of 2004.

The Minnesota Well Water Association (MWWA) and the American Ground Water Trust have teamed up to prepare a consumer informational pamphlet designed to help Minnesotans make good decisions about water wells. “When Citizens in Minnesota Need a Water Well” instructs customers about the process of well drilling from beginning stages to the finished product. It also provides helpful information about common problems that may arise while well drilling. A brief professional contractor checklist is provided as well. Pamphlets can be ordered from the MWWA at (651) 290-6270.

Ion the Industry WQA 30th Annual Convention Baltimore March 16–20

Monday, May 24th, 2004

DWTU Purifier Claims: A Dialog about Microbial Standards by Two Researchers, Part 1 of 2

Friday, May 14th, 2004

By P. Regunathan & Gary Hatch

Gary Hatch and “Regu” P. Regunathan met to review the microbiological standards currently in existence compared to those being proposed for adoption. Hatch is the chairman of the Mechanical Device Sub-Task Group of the microbiological standard development effort at NSF International’s Joint Committee on Drinking Water Treatment Units (DWTUs). Regunathan serves as a member of several sub-task groups of this effort. The following is based on their recent conversation—The editors

Gary: Regu, we need to first review what’s currently in existence at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Did you not serve as a member of the task force that developed the USEPA “Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers”?

Regu: Yes, Gary, I was one of the 17 members involved in that task. The group included 14 members from different related branches of the U.S. Government, one from Health Canada, one from academia, and myself representing the DWTU industry and the Water Quality Association (WQA). Obviously, there was a heavy presence of regulatory personnel! Chuck Gerba, of the University of Arizona, known to many in our industry because of his work in testing DWTUs, was the only professor in this group. Among the regulators there were other well known microbiologists, including Ed Geldreich and Don Reasoner.

Gary: Even though I’m fairly familiar with this “Guide,” let me ask you a few questions for the sake of informing our readers. When exactly did this task group carry this out?

Regu: We started in 1984 and completed our work in about two years, but it was released to the public in 1987 after external review. By the way, no further review of this document has taken place during the last 17 years, even though such an ongoing continuity was specifically called for in the document itself. The USEPA has been willing to consider variations of the protocol on a case-by-case basis.

Gary: What types of units are covered by this “Guide”? What is the general scope and purpose?

Regu: Let me answer your second question first. The Guide is to facilitate the proper application of point-of-use (POU) units for treating water from contaminated wells, lakes, springs, or streams in the United States or abroad. It specifically cautions that this protocol isn’t meant to be used for treating wastewater to microbiologically potable water. It also specifically excludes terrorist-induced actions.

Only three types of devices were covered by this task group:

Gary: What types of test waters were indicated in the protocol?

Regu: There’s a “General Test Water” for use in all tests. This water had specifications of pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), total organic carbon (TOC), and turbidity measured as NTU—nephelometric turbidity units—in low or normal range at ambient temperature. But there were several variations of worst-case test waters for use in testing each type of devices.

Gary: I would like to limit our dialog to just the mechanical units for now.

Regu: Good idea! The mechanical filter units were to be tested at 60 pounds per square inch (psi) inlet pressure for a duration of 10.5 days. General Test Water is supposed to be used during the first six days and the worst-case “Test Water (No.3)” without the high turbidity levels was to be used during the remaining 4.5 days of testing. Test Water No.3 with high turbidity of >30 NTU has to be introduced only during two “ON” cycles for at least 10 bed volumes during each sampling event. There are eight sampling events during the test period.

Gary: That is interesting. Each unit sees this high turbidity water only for a total of about 80 bed volumes during this test. Is that correct? What is the composition of this worst-case water?

Regu: Yes. That’s correct. Well, this Test Water No.3 has to have these characteristics:

  • pH: 9.0 +/-0.2
  • TOC: >10 ppm*
  • Turbidity >30 NTU
  • Temperature: 4°C +/-1°C
  • TDS: 1,500 +/-150 ppm.

Turbidity is supposed to be kept at below 5 NTU even during the last 4.5 days so that the unit can be maintained without getting plugged up completely before the end of the test.

Gary: Why such a mix?

Regu: While there was not much data in this area, the general feeling was that high pH, high TOC, higher TDS and low water temperature will provide a higher challenge to the adsorption of viruses on the surface of ceramic or other mechanical filters. There was a difference of opinion regarding use of high turbidity levels. Some felt it would actually assist better removals if high dirt load were present in the influent waters. Others, while agreeing with that possibility, felt it’s needed to stress the filters and create failures. Also it was felt such high turbidity levels may occur in surface waters after heavy rainfall, and these types of units may be used at that time. There was, however, concern about high dirt levels plugging up filters too quickly. That’s why it was agreed as a compromise to have such high turbidity be present only during sampling times, particularly during the last 4.5 days of testing with Test Water No.3.
By the way, it was necessary to clean the ceramic filters twice during the test to simulate actual usage in the field.

Gary: What about the test organisms?

Regu: The following were the selected organisms:

  • Bacteria: Klebsiella terrigena—1×107/100ml
  • Virus:
    1. Poliovirus—1×107/L, and
    2. Rotavirus (Wa or SA-11)—1×107/L
  • Protozoan Cysts:
    1. Giardia or Cryptosporidium
    1×106/L, or
    2. Dust particles 4-6 microns (µm)—1×107/L.

Reduction of bacteria levels has to be more than 6 logs (>99.9999 percent), virus levels more than 4 logs (>99.99 percent), and cysts or particles more than 3 logs (>99.9 percent) for a unit to be considered to have passed the test. Ten percent of individual sample pairs are allowed to be one or half an order of magnitude lower than these log levels as long as the mean value passes the above requirements.

By the way, influent bacteria levels have to be maintained as shown throughout the test, but the viruses and the cysts need to be added only during the two “ON” cycles around each sampling event along with the increase in turbidity levels at those times.

Gary: All of this is interesting and a little confusing. Clearly, the group was trying to come up with some kind of simulation, but without much field data to draw from. You stated earlier that this protocol hasn’t been reviewed after 1987—all the more reason for our effort at NSF to come up with new standards and accompanying protocols.

Regu: Let’s chat about that. Even though I’m aware of most facts involved, let me ask the questions to clarify the situation. Who is involved in this effort?

Gary: The whole effort of standard development is managed by the Joint Committee (JC), which has members from industry, the regulatory field, and user community in an equal ratio. They set up task forces that actually do the writing and the legwork, which then is reviewed and balloted by the JC for approval and later by the Council of Public Health Consultants (CPHC) at NSF.

Regu: What is the name of the task group you’re currently chairing? What exactly are your tasks?

Gary: Our group is the Mechanical Filtration Task Group, which is just one of the task groups working on several microbiological reduction standards and is part of an overall Microbiological Reduction Standards Development Committee. It consists of mostly industry members who have expertise in microbiology, chemistry, engineering and water filtration. The initial responsibility of our task group is to develop a test protocol for testing POU and point-of-entry (POE) filtration devices that utilize very fine filtration as the primary removal mechanism for mechanically filtering out viruses, bacteria and cysts from drinking water deemed to be microbiologically safe.

Regu: Wait a minute! What do you mean “microbiologically safe”? Isn’t this a “purifier” standard?
Gary: Yes, but our initial effort is to develop first a standard that allows for testing devices that provide “supplemental” treatment of municipally treated tap water or water that’s deemed safe by routine microbiological testing such as well water. After we complete this standard, we plan on making changes to the protocol to create more stringent challenge conditions. We envision this more stringent protocol to be a “purifier” standard similar to the current ceramic candle test protocol in the “EPA Guide Standard” you described previously. Our ultimate hope is that USEPA would adopt the new standard for reviewing registrations for pesticides, or performance related to pesticidal devices.

Regu: So, there’ll be two different microbiological mechanical reduction standards… one for testing units for supplemental treatment of water deemed to be microbiologically safe and one for testing units for treatment of water that may be microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality?

Gary: Exactly! This is the strategy initially developed by the overall Microbiological Reduction Standards Development Committee, which oversees this task group.

Regu: What was the reasoning behind the supplemental treatment approach?

Gary: Well, it’s known that occasionally municipal systems have “excursions” of microbiological contamination, such as during heavy rains, flooding, broken lines, during periods of low pressure and drought, or because of faulty chlorination or pump equipment. We all have heard of a boil water advisory. But by the time they’re issued, the potentially contaminated water usually already has entered the home and consumers are exposed. This is the scenario where a supplemental DWTU—or POU/POE device already in place—would be of great benefit to consumers. Consumers can also be protected from any possibility of endemic (low-level) disease potential in a water system as shown in a Canadian study not too long ago. Even though there’s some controversy associated with this study, such potential cannot be completely ruled out.

Regu: But should the consumer keep using the unit during the boil water notice?

Gary: No! The task group was given specific direction by the JC not to allow continued use of the device during a notice since it’s for “supplemental” treatment, not for treatment of water of “unknown quality.” So, according to the proposed standard, once the notice is issued by the utility, the user should stop using the unit and follow directions given for the boil water advisory or use some other source of safe water such as bottled water. Once the “all clear” is given, the unit should be serviced and sanitized and put back into use to provide supplemental protection if there’s another similar incident.

Regu: Sounds like a very good approach. We’ll continue this discussion in Part 2 of this series.

About the authors
Gary L. Hatch, Ph.D., is director of research and development for Pentair/Plymouth Products in Sheboygan, Wis., manufacturer of Pentek™ brand water filtration products. He’s responsible for new product R&D for residential and commercial POU/POE markets. Hatch graduated from Kansas State University with a doctorate degree in analytical-inorganic chemistry and has been actively involved in water treatment for the past 30 years. He can be reached at (920) 451-9353, (920) 451-9384 (fax), email: ghatch@plymouthwater.com or website: www.pentekfiltration.com

P. Regunathan, Ph.D., is president of ReguNathan & Associates Inc. He works as a consultant to NSF International and the Water Quality Association in addition to other clients. He was formerly senior vice president of Science & Technology at Culligan International as well as president of Everpure Inc. He received his doctorate degree in environmental engineering from Iowa State University and worked in the POU/POE industry for 35 years. He can be reached at (630) 653-0387 or email: regu5@ yahoo.com

 

Wastewater: Going the MBR Route When Replacing a Septic System

Friday, May 14th, 2004

By Lisa Woolard, P.E. &  Michael Sparks

Summary: In need of a large-scale wastewater treatment system utilizing its current equipment parameters, an Alaskan lodge turned to membrane bioreactor technology. Over a few years time, the system has proven to be beneficial and free of operational difficulties. A closer inspection of the system’s inner-workings is detailed here.


Alaska’s growing tourism industry has fueled the construction of facilities to serve the lodging and entertainment needs of seasonal visitors. As the size of these facilities expand from small lodges and bed and breakfast-type businesses to larger full service resorts, more sophisticated wastewater treatment facilities are required. One such lodge on the Kenai Peninsula recently turned to membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology to meet its environmental and wastewater challenges. The lodge replaced its septic tank and a mound leach field system with a custom-designed MBR system.

The lodge faced a number of constraints in the selection of a wastewater treatment system. Perhaps the most important constraint was to maintain the option for sub-surface discharge into the existing mound system at the increased wastewater flow rates anticipated for the expanded facility. The state of Alaska requires sufficient area be set aside for a replacement system in case the absorption system fails if sub-surface discharge is used for wastewater disposal. Also, while the lodge had adequate replacement area set aside for the existing mound absorption system, construction of additional mounds (and associated replacement area) to accommodate increased wastewater flows would occupy a significant portion of the available property. Use of the existing absorption system was complicated by observations of ponded water in monitoring tubes, which indicated that discharge from the existing septic tanks had, over the years, compromised the adsorptive capacity of the mounds.

Lodge requirements
To maximize the potential for long-term use, the lodge required a wastewater treatment system that would minimize the soluble organic and particulate load to the sub-surface absorption system. In addition to a high quality effluent, the lodge also required a system that could be operated by the existing maintenance staff with limited, prior wastewater treatment training and experience. The treatment system also needed to be able to operate throughout the peak of the season when the lodge is fully occupied and shoulder season when only a fraction of the facility is occupied. The system also needed to be shut down during the off-season when only a skeleton maintenance staff is on site. Finally, the treatment system needed to blend unobtrusively into the existing lodge complex.

After a thorough evaluation of wastewater treatment alternatives capable of treating anticipated flows under the constraints previously described, a submersed MBR system was selected. It utilizes hollow fiber membranes with a 0.4-micron nominal pore size placed directly into the aeration tank.

The system provides course bubble aeration to create a continuous flow of mixed liquor around the membrane module and the oxygen required for microbial degradation of waste components. The fibers in the module are horizontally aligned, which allows for sufficient contact of the air and membrane fibers. The system is operated on an “eight-minutes-on and two-minutes-off” schedule. The filtrate pump pulls a vacuum on the membranes with the air blower operating for eight minutes at which time the pump turns off and the blower continues to run. This two-minute period allows for the membranes to relax, improving air-scouring efficiency.

To provide flexibility in operation, the MBR tank at the lodge was divided into four separate aerated tanks, each with a working volume of approximately 1,800 gallons. Each aeration tank was large enough to fit one membrane module. Three modules were initially installed to provide a treatment capacity of 20,800 gallons per day (gpd). The fourth compartment was provided for a future upgrade if necessary. The four aeration tanks share a common anoxic zone with a working volume of up to 8,600 gallons for equalization and denitrification of the wastewater. All wastewater was passed through 1/16-inch, wedge-wire rotary drum screen before entering the membrane tanks. A schematic of the MBR system is shown in Figure 1.

Operational issues, system performance of MBR
The facility was started with raw wastewater in May 2001 and has been in operation for over two years. Table 1 summarizes the waste characteristics and effluent quality during this period. The lodge generates a particularly strong waste stream with chemical oxygen demand (COD) values typically in excess of 1,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L). BOD concentrations of around 800-1,000 mg/L are common. Effluent COD has been consistently below 60 mg/L since startup, regardless of waste strength.

Less consistent results were initially obtained for nitrogen removal. During the 2001 season, limited nitrification was observed. Since the MBR was started from only raw wastewater, much of the first season was devoted to developing an active bacteria culture of nitrifiers. In addition, the high waste strength generated by the lodge exceeded the design waste strength. As a result, the aeration capacity initially provided was inadequate to consistently meet the oxygen demand. Based on the results of the first season of operation, additional blower capacity was installed in 2002 and an aeration header added to one end of the anoxic tank to provide more aerobic detention time during peak months. These modifications promoted better nitrification during the second and third years of operation. Consistently low levels of effluent nitrate have been measured during the last two years of operation.

What to do with waste?
One unique aspect of this installation is the need to accommodate the distinct wastewater flow characteristics that result from seasonal operation. By varying the number of membranes online, the MBR capacity can be matched with the wastewater flow rates that range from less than 500 gpd to over 13,000 gpd throughout the season. The aeration system was designed so that aeration capacity could be matched to the number of membranes on line. Table 2 summarizes a typical seasonal operation schedule.

The membranes have performed well throughout both seasons of operation, producing an effluent with no detectable suspended solids. Clogging of the membrane unit course bubble aeration headers with a hard, fibrous substance has been a consistent operational issue since startup. Accumulation of this substance in the headers causes an increase in blower back-pressure and a reduction in membrane agitation/aeration efficiency. Despite regular purging of the aeration header using blower air, by August 2001, the membrane aeration headers were plugged to the extent that the membrane modules had to be removed and the aeration headers manually cleaned. For the 2002 season, manual ball valves were installed on the membrane aeration header to facilitate frequent header purging with blower air. For much of 2002, weekly header purging kept the fouling under control; however, when system mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentrations approached 20,000 mg/L late in the season, rapid aeration header plugging occurred and couldn’t be mitigated by purging the aeration header with blower air while membranes were removed and headers manually cleaned. Last year, aeration header plugging was successfully managed by maintenance of the MLSS concentration at 15,000 mg/L or less, and purging the air header several times per week.

Significant foaming was observed during startup in 2001 until a stable culture of biomass was established. Foaming also occurred for approximately one week after the MBR was placed back online in 2002 and 2003. No foaming occurred once this seasonal startup period was completed. Although short in duration, this annual foaming event is problematic unless foam control is provided. Operating experience indicates that tap water supplied through low-volume spray nozzles will provide effective foaming control.

Discharge of the MBR effluent has improved the performance of the existing mound adsorption system. No standing water has been observed in the monitoring tubes since the MBR has come online and the existing adsorption field easily accepts the increased effluent generated by the expanded lodge facility.

Operation of the MBR system is routinely conducted by staff with excellent general electrical and mechanical skills, but with limited formal training in wastewater treatment. Main operational duties include routine system checks, removing screened solids, and elimination of sludge waste (waste solids are trucked off-site about every week during the season peak). Because effluent is discharged to a sub-surface adsorption system, operators only routinely collect the MLSS and flow data necessary for operation of the facility. On average, the lodge staff spends less than two hours per day at the facility. About 3-5 manpower days each spring are required to bring the system back online. About 4-7 manpower days are required each fall to drain, clean and prepare the system for off-season storage.

Conclusion
Implementing MBR treatment has allowed the lodge to continue to use the existing mound systems, thus preserving site acreage for guest units and support structures. With its four separate aeration tanks, the MBR provides the flexibility to match system capacity with the variable flows that occur during seasonal operation. Other than a period of brief foaming during startup in the spring, storing the membranes in chlorinated clean water during the off-season has caused no operational problems.

About the authors
Lisa Woolard, P.E., is the managing partner in GV Jones & Associates Inc., of Anchorage, Alaska, a process engineering firm specializing in water and wastewater treatment. She can be contacted at (907) 346-4123 or email: lisa@gvjones.com

Michael Sparks is an MBR product engineer at Ionics Inc., a global leader in the treatment and analysis of water and wastewater. Founded in 1948, Ionics has over 50 years of experience in the design, installation, operation and maintenance of membrane-based water treatment systems such as the one discussed in this article, which involves an MBR system using Sterapore™ hollow fiber membranes. Sparks can be reached at (617)-926-2500 or email: msparks@ionics.com

For more information about Ionics, of Watertown, Mass. Visit www.ionics.com

 

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