In the Spring of 2001, a major lead/acid battery manufacturer began experiencing pressure from their local POTW to reduce lead concentration in their wastewater. As a result, comparison testing was initiated for ultrafiltration technology versus conventional clarification (the facilities
existing treatment method) as to economically determine lead reduction capabilities on a wastewater stream produced by their laundry operation at the facility. The pilot study showed the feasibility of UF and that utilizing sulfide precipitation pretreatment chemistry reduced the lead from
20 mg/l to <0.050 mg/l in the UF permeate. The study also showed that the clarifier, utilizing sulfide precipitation was not capable of producing low enough or consistent lead reduction results ranging in lead concentration from 0.35 mg/l to 1.0 mg/l in the clarified treated
wastewater. In addition, the technology comparison study showed that UF was a more cost-effective solution when evaluating both the initial capital and operating costs of UF versus clarification. As a direct result of this study the battery manufacturer chose to purchase a commercial scale
UF system specified to treat 75,000 gpd of lead contaminated wastewater while utilizing sulfide pretreatment chemistry. The UF pilot system test program, pilot performance and results, and technology economic comparison details are presented in this case study.
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