Use of Softening-Enhanced High Density Sludge Treatment to Recover Mine Water for Beneficial Irrigation Reuse

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This paper describes a mine water treatment and recovery system (MWTRS) to provide treated mine water to blend with and supplement the water supply of an irrigation district. The MWTRS uses a unique application of softening-enhanced high density sludge (HDS) treatment that results in significantly reduced solids disposal volumes, greater metals removal at a single operating pH, lower lime usage, and the ability to readily control gypsum scaling without the need for a separate lime-soda softener. From an operational perspective, the MWTRS was designed to reliably meet irrigation water quality goals and accommodate a wide range of influent flows to meet seasonal irrigation water demands. Additionally, the MWTRS reduces dissolved calcium to avoid formation of gypsum scale in the conveyance pipeline to maintain flow capacity and allow mine dewatering to proceed uninterrupted.
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