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Commissioning and Operation of a 50 MGD Ultrafiltration Advanced Reclamation Facility for Gwinnett County, Georgia

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Gwinnett County, located near Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. A new 20 mgd state-of-the-art water reclamation and processing facility, called the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center, became operational in December 2000 and is being expanded to triple its capacity to 60 mgd (maximum month flow basis). The expanded plant will produce high-quality “product water” discharging to Lake Lanier, which is the raw water supply source for the County's potable water treatment plant. The expansion includes a nominal 50 mgd ultrafiltration (UF) system treating chemical-clarified secondary effluent which will be fully operational in 2006.

After an extensive 1-year testing period and an evaluation of performance, cost, and other factors, membrane filtration was selected as part of the advanced treatment processes to treat secondary effluent. The Zenon ZW-500c UF membrane process was the highest-ranked proposal following a selection process that evaluated eight different membrane filtration systems from five manufacturers. After successful “proof testing” with a pilot system operated at the as-proposed design criteria and operating conditions, the UF system was incorporated into the final design of the full-scale facility as a package system to be supplied by Zenon as a subcontractor to the successful general contractor.

The UF system consists of 16 parallel process trains with a high degree of redundancy for added reliability. Full production capacity 48 mgd permeate can be met with 14 trains in service, and all critical auxiliary equipment and piping are designed for redundancy with backups. Each train has a capacity of 3.6 mgd feed flow and operates at a minimum recovery of 96% at 20 C.

The Phase 2 construction began on the AWT (advanced water treatment) facilities in the second quarter of 2003. The performance testing and commissioning of the membrane process trains is currently underway. At the time of this writing (June 2006), performance testing has been completed on the first eight trains and is in progress for the remaining eight trains. Before completion of testing and final acceptance by the County, 14 trains will be operated simultaneously.

This paper summarizes the membrane process design criteria, start-up and commissioning activities, and performance test results to date. Previous publications have described pilot, demonstration, and “proof” testing and other facets of the project [1–6]. When the 50 mgd feed (48 mgd treated product) ultrafiltration system is fully-operational in 2006, it will be one of the largest membrane facilities in the world, the largest membrane facility in the eastern United States, and the largest capacity operating membrane filtration facility treating municipal wastewater in the country.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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