In water testing, readings that we believe to be reliable indicators are not always what they seem. Water that exhibits certain chemical or electrical characteristics at laboratory temperatures can provide entirely different readings in the field. Here is a quick review of what to look for in common water tests and why to consider automatic temperature compensation in the instruments used to collect them.
Between December 2014 and September 2015 there were three clusters of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in the Bronx, New York City. Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, is caused by inhaling aerosolized water containing certain pathogenic strains of Legionella bacteria. Legionella thrive in warm, stagnant water with low disinfection residuals such as hot water tanks, hot tubs, cooling towers, decorative fountains and showerheads.
New York City is home to more than 8 million people, making it the most populous city in the United States. The majority of New York's drinking water is supplied by the Catskill/Delaware watershed, located approximately 100 miles outside the city. Historically, NYC has not filtered the water from this system, nor did they require any additional barriers to microbial contaminants due to the pristine nature of the watershed.
In Canada and the western United States, long treated water transmission lines are frequently utilized to convey potable water to rural communities. These long transmission lines combined with chlorine for water disinfection can often create the requisite conditions for the formation of undesirable disinfection-byproducts (DBPs). One of the most common DBPs is a family of volatile compounds called Trihalomethanes (THMs) which are regulated in Canada to a level of 100 ppb (part-per-billion) annual average and in the US to a level of 80 ppb.
The Jacksonville JEA water district had a problem. Its measurements showed that it was distributing significantly more water than it was removing from its wells.
The use of Ultra Violet (UV) technology within process industries has grown tremendously in recent years. Water, fruit juice, syrup and brines are increasingly seen as the largest volume ingredient in many food products, and the need to protect human health, whilst reduce the level of chemical preservatives, and to extend shelf life leads to the incorporation of UV systems within the food manufacturing process.
Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is a major unit operation in refineries around the world. FCC is used to convert lowvalue, high molecular weight feedstocks such as shale oil, tar sands oil, and coker gas oils into lighter, high-value products by “cracking” C-C bonds.
Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD), located in southern California’s Orange County, between Los Angeles and San Diego, provides drinking water and wastewater services to over 165,000 residents and businesses. SMWD approached UGSI Solutions about a Polyblend® Polymer Activation System trial at their 3 A Water Reclamation Plant.
The U.S. EPA's promulgation of the Stage 2 Disinfection By-Products Rule required the Public Works Department of Danvers, MA, to establish a Two-Phase upgrade of the plant’s treatment process in order to comply.
When looking for a way to reduce plant operating costs, one of the potentially simplest and often least expensive solutions is to measure liquid and gas flow more accurately. Plant upgrade projects that focus on the continuous improvement of flow measurement and control can trim overall production costs by eliminating waste and reducing maintenance costs.
Phoenix is one of the country’s fastest growing metropolitan areas and has one of the most arid desert climates. Population growth coupled with increasingly stringent water regulations pushed the city to proactively address future water supply concerns. The decision was made to build the Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and include oxidation and disinfection treatment barriers.
Osmosis is the phenomenon of lower dissolved solids in water passing through a semi-permeable membrane into higher dissolved solids water until a near equilibrium is reached
Facility administrators will find the advanced ST100 Series Thermal Mass Air/Gas Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) helps them improve the accuracy of specialty gas point of use and sub-metering operations to achieve accurate billing in their labs for better cost tracking and control.
In a number of water, wastewater and industrial process applications, pH is one of the most critical and highly sensitive analytical measurements. Examples of critical pH applications include: Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems in which a controlled feed of caustic solution is typically added to the feed stream in order to convert a portion of dissolved carbon dioxide into bicarbonate precipitate allowing for removal by the RO membrane. By Rafik H. Bishara, Steve Jacobs, and Dan Bell
SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions designs and manufactures Sievers Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzers that enable near real-time reporting of organic carbon levels for treatment optimization, quality control & regulatory compliance. TOC has a wide range of applicability at a drinking water plant, and therefore any drinking water utility — large or small — can measure TOC in their laboratory or online in their treatment process.
Water quality laboratories across the nation are faced with both a rising level of water quality awareness amongst the general public, as well as rising costs in water quality monitoring. As a result, laboratories are looking for more efficient ways to provide higher quality monitoring.
The water municipality at a mid-size city in the Western region of the U.S. serving a population of about 180,000 people needed to address a chlorine disinfection system problem at one of its water treatment plants.
Two new particle detecting technologies have been developed to help optimize filter performance at water treatment plants (WTP).
Many high-speed, wide-format ink jet printer manufacturers are now using 3M™ Liqui-Cel™ SP Series Membrane Contactors to remove air bubbles and excess gases from ink to reduce downtime and improve yields. Entrained bubbles and excess gases are often the cause of printing surface defects and ink flow interruptions that can cause printer shut-downs.
Numerous compounds contribute to changes in beer flavor as it becomes stale. One of these compounds, (E)-2-nonenal, has been investigated as a major source of the papery/cardboard flavor that develops in aged beer.
Water utilities with highly successful monitoring programs tend to share a common trait: they have a well-defined plan for calibration that emphasizes frequency and tracking. However, when done properly, this process is time-consuming and often leads to unnecessary labor and downtime. The good news is that advanced metering technology is available for plants to get a better handle on the instrument’s performance with significantly less effort.
Digital devices provide two-way communication, so they can be programmed from the control room. However, the bigger benefit is that they can be part of a system offering assured interoperability to provide a seamless flow of information. This type of integration between key components of the water treatment and distribution process improves decision-making and overall equipment optimization.
When water and wastewater plant operators can’t get accurate flow measurements or analytical readings — or lack confidence in their instruments’ readings — it creates challenges with the process. When substandard water goes to homes and causes a boil order, or discharge pollutes a lake or reservoir, the resulting bad press, fines, and potential lawsuits erode public confidence. Avoiding these kinds of problems is rooted in good preventive maintenance habits.
Water and wastewater utility operators work diligently to operate within strict guidelines, ensuring their facilities are producing the best drinking water and highest quality effluent possible. Despite all their efforts, however, it can be easy to fall outside of regulatory compliance without even being aware. The key to avoiding problems like these is to understand how silent noncompliance can happen and knowing when to raise a red flag.
In many water and wastewater treatment applications, there are a number of pollutants that are difficult to reduce by physical, chemical, or biological means alone. In more recent years, there has been a growing concern regarding pharmaceutical drugs in drinking water and aquatic environments. Pesticides get caught in runoff from farms into freshwater supplies.
Water scarcity. Aging infrastructure. Uncertainty due to climate change. Experts from across the water sector agree that water challenges are intensifying, and that action and public awareness is a necessity. Now we have the need — and the opportunity — for those same voices to raise the volume on one of the most powerful ways to address increasing water threats: digital innovation.
Drinking Water Treatment involves the removal of pathogens and other contaminants from source water in order to make it safe for humans to consume. Treatment of public drinking water is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. Common examples of contaminants that need to be treated and removed from water before it is considered potable are microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals and radionuclides.
There are a variety of technologies and processes that can be used to decontaminate or treat water in a drinking water treatment plant before the clean water is pumped into the water distribution system for consumption.
The first stage in treating drinking water is often called pretreatment and involves screens to remove large debris and objects from the water supply. Aeration can also be used in the pretreatment phase. By mixing air and water, unwanted gases and minerals are removed and the water improves in color, taste and odor.
The second stage in the drinking water treatment process involves coagulation and flocculation. A coagulating agent is added to the water which causes suspended particles to stick together into clumps of material called floc. In sedimentation basins, the heavier floc separates from the water supply and sinks to form sludge, allowing the less turbid water to continue through the process.
During the filtration stage, smaller particles not removed by flocculation are removed from the treated water by running the water through a series of filters. Filter media can include sand, granulated carbon or manufactured membranes. Filtration using reverse osmosis membranes is a critical component of removing salt particles where desalination is being used to treat brackish water or seawater into drinking water.
Following filtration, the water is disinfected to kill or disable any microbes or viruses that could make the consumer sick. The most traditional disinfection method for treating drinking water uses chlorine or chloramines. However, new drinking water disinfection methods are constantly coming to market. Two disinfection methods that have been gaining traction use ozone and ultra-violet (UV) light to disinfect the water supply.