Innovative Disinfection Processes Including Membrane Technology and Ultraviolet Light for Treatment of Reclaimed Water for Indirect Potable Reuse

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Advanced water treatment technology exists which can provide a continuous supply of pure water from reclaimed water sources. Membrane technology in the form of microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and/or reverse osmosis (RO) has become an increasingly affordable alternative when compared to conventional water treatment processes to achieve the same water quality objectives. A treatment train, which utilizes membrane elements coupled with ultraviolet radiation (UV), provides multiple effective barriers to known water pollutants. UF alone can provide log 4 removal as a barrier to pathogens and particles with a molecular weight greater than 500 Daltons. This includes viruses, cryptosporidium, giardia and bacteria. This method combined with nutrient specific membranes and UV treatment of the membrane feed provides removal or inactivation of reclaimed water pollutants and nutrients. In most cases, reclaimed water treated by these methods of disinfection is purer than surface water and/or some groundwater supplies.

PB Water, a division of Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. has been researching the use of membrane technology and ultraviolet light disinfection at an advanced reclaimed water facility in Orlando, Florida. Early indications are that 100% of the water quality goals for the treatment of reclaimed water can be achieved by a combination of UF and/or NF followed by UV. Based on preliminary findings, a bench-scale process plant was devised and operated from February 2001 to April 2001. Bench-scale studies centered on choosing the best membranes for application from a variety of membrane manufacturers.

Bench scale results will be used to design a pilot scale system to be operated for an extended period at the facility to gain information on the fouling and replacement costs of the full-scale project. With knowledge gained from the pilot scale apparatus, a full- scale system could be developed and placed on-line, making central Florida one of the leading areas for reclaimed water capabilities.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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