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Effects of Operational and Cleaning Practices on Membrane Fouling during the Reclamation of Secondary Effluent from a Wastewater Treatment Plant

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Effects of three different operational changes on membrane fouling were evaluated for a wastewater secondary effluent reuse facility: addition and no addition of a coagulant (ferric chloride), an accidental high chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) dose, and an extended hydraulic backwash. Two different types of membrane modules were compared: one with 3 years operation and the second with 9 months of operation at the time of data collection. Fouling rates ranged between 2 to 3 times higher during no ferric chloride addition than the ferric chloride addition. Chemical cleaning frequency was reduced by approximately 5 times during the ferric chloride addition for older membranes, while it did not change for newer membranes. High chlorine dose had slightly improved membrane permeability for newer membrane, and reduced the transmembrane pressure (TMP) for both types of membranes. Additionally, extended backwash had shown significant improvement in membrane permeability and reduction in TMP for both types of membranes. Membrane fouling index (MFI) values indicated that coagulant addition had greater impact on performance recovery after hydraulic backwash for older membranes than newer membranes. Moreover, MFI values also indicated that extended hydraulic backwash can lower chemically irreversible fouling.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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