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Open Access Minimizing Liquid Waste Discharge from Municipal Reverse Osmosis Plants

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High recovery of water with RO membranes is by far the most efficient method of processing waste and brackish water. If emerging successes in the intermediate precipitative treatment of the limiting foulants can become widely successful, a tandom second RO step of similar recovery rates will already reach an overall water recovery of 97-99%. The remaining 1-3% of the original water volume can be addressed with evaporative concentrators. Here we present the well water analyses of three municipal systems within 25 miles radius of Riverside, CA. In each case, due to the cost of discharging concentrate into a brine line to the sea, close to limiting primary RO recoveries have been reached. The results of autopsies and foulant analyses performed on membranes from these three plants identify the foulants that need to be precipitatively removed before treatment with a secondary RO.

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Keywords: BRACKISH GROUND WATER; CONCENTRATE REDUCTION; FOULANT ANALYSES; TANDOM REVERSE OSMOSIS; ZERO LIQUID DISCHARGE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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