Mar 05, 2004

Water Reuse at Remote Locations

USFilter Provides Small Communities, Municipalities and Industrial Clients With Solution for Water Reuse

As water costs increase and supplies dwindle, communities and business alike are turning to high-tech water treatment systems that recycle and reuse water. But, for many communities, it's cost prohibitive to run reclaimed wastewater through miles of distribution lines from a centralized water treatment plant to where it's needed.

Recently, technology advancements have pushed satellite treatment plants into the forefront. This new process allows those same communities to remotely treatment wastewater--which is less costly and less disruptive.

The trend is benefiting companies such as USFilter, Palm Desert-based supplier of total water management systems and services, which reports a wave of new bookings for membrane bioreactor (MBR) skidded water reuse systems.

"We expect to start-up more than one system per month in 2004, totaling almost 5 million gallons per day of operational treatment capacity," says Ed Jordan, vice president of Jet Tech Products.

One of the new projects is for reclaimed water satellite treatment plant in the state of Washington, which serves four separate communities. By meeting the state's "Class A" reclaimed water standards with the MBR technology, the communities will save hundreds of millions of gallons of drinking quality water each year.

The reclaimed water will be used for irrigation, commercial and industrial purposes--supplying reclaimed wastewater where it is needed and reducing the load on the central regional plant. The satellite plant will intercept existing regional sewer lines and extract municipal wastewater for local use. Water not distributed for direct use will circulate to the groundwater recharge infiltration basin.

Jordan said USFilter's membrane bioreactor technology provides high quality reuse water. The system is uniquely designed to ensure stable long-term performance, involves low operator attendance and is ideal for remote locations.

Another type of user of satellite systems is residential community development where building permits depend on the availability of water treatment. One of these is the Woods Valley Ranch Water Reclamation facility in Southern California.

Due to the location of the development, next to the environmentally sensitive, Moosa Creek, the 55,000 gallons per day (gpd) wastewater plant was required to meet California's stringent Title 22 requirements. The high quality effluent produced from this facility will irrigate the community's golf course and be used to fill the course's water features.

The developer of the community was required to install wastewater treatment facilities prior to obtaining the residential building permits. So, speed was of the essence.

"Speed of delivery, installation time, and small footprint were critical to this process," says Don Bunts, project engineer for Newland Communities, the developer on this project. "The system utilizes the latest and most advanced wastewater treatment technology, providing exceptional water quality and allows for an extremely simple process, which met our requirements for this fast track installation."

Jordan believes that while the cost and availability of water are strong market drivers, the availability of cost-effective, package treatment plants is having a positive effect, as well.

He said the advancements in membrane filtration and liquid-solid separation and the integration of these technologies into complete, compact systems has given small communities, municipalities and industrial clients proven technical solutions for water reuse at remote locations.