Monthly Archives: June 2023

Understanding the Role of Filtration Systems in Effective Water Treatment

Did you catch the recent news about how the massive draws of water by agriculture, homes, and businesses have shifted the earth’s axis a tiny amount to the east? It’s not a huge shift – only about 1.7 inches per year – but it’s enough that it could play a role in climate change and the global sea level rise.

Many districts have water treatment plants and clean water that’s drawn from rivers, lakes, or ponds. In some areas where water sources have been running water reuse is essential. That means treating wastewater, pumping that cleaned wastewater to water treatment plants, and preparing that water for people to use. For this to work, filtration systems are a key component in making sure contaminants are removed. 

The basics of water treatment are:

  1. Coagulation – Chemicals like iron or salts are mixed into the water. They have a positive charge. Meanwhile, contaminants like dirt have a negative charge. The opposite charges attract and cause them to bind. 
  2. Flocculation – The water is mixed so that heavier particles form. Additional chemicals may be added to get the particle clumps known as flocs to get as large as possible.
  3. Sedimentation – The water is now allowed to settle. The larger flocs sink and can be removed from tanks. The rest of the water goes to filtration.
  4. Filtration – The treated water is pumped or travels via gravity or centrifugation through some kind of filtration system to remove bacteria, chemicals, parasites, viruses, and any other particles.  Contaminants like cryptosporidium E. coli, giardia, and legionella can be found in groundwater and surface water due to animal and human waste and can make humans sick if they’re not filtered and exposed to a disinfectant.
  5. Disinfection – Water is treated with a chemical disinfectant such as chlorine, chlorine dioxide, or chloramines to kill any remaining bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Some water treatment plants use UV lights and ozone, but chlorine is often preferred as it can also kill the germs that build up in pipes around the water treatment plant. Once the water is treated, it’s often allowed time to sit to ensure chemical disinfectant levels meet the EPA guidelines before the water goes to homes and businesses.

The Types of Filtration Systems and Their Role in Treating Water

What are the different types of filters used in water treatment? Several options are good for adsorption, meaning they capture and hold contaminants, and only clean water is allowed through the filter. Most plants use one of these filtration options: 

  1. Activated Charcoal:

Activated carbon filters are good for removing odors from water. They also capture particles and germs. Water treatment plants tend to use granular activated carbon as it’s able to adsorb a variety of contaminants, including some pharmaceuticals. When activated carbon needs to be replaced, it’s also compostable, which makes it an environmentally-friendly option. 

This is also likely to be a form of water treatment that will be familiar to you. It’s the charcoal material found in many fish filters, pet water fountains, and pitcher filter systems like Brita or Pur. If you have a refrigerator with filtered water, you likely have an activated carbon filter doing the work.

  1. Coconut Fiber Filters:

Some water treatment plants have tested out coconut fiber filters. Created from the fibers of a coconut shell, these filters are great for absorbing contaminants. Plus, it gives the coconut shell fibers a second use after the coconut meat is removed for the food industry.

Coconut fibers don’t break down as easily. While an activated carbon filter usually requires some time to clear out the carbon dust, you don’t run into that with coconut fibers. It’s worth a closer look if it’s an option in your area.

  1. Microfiltration:

Microfiltration is one option that can be used in a water treatment plant. It’s good for removing bacteria and suspended solids, but it’s not as good for removing viruses and salts. If it’s used, it’s usually a pre-treatment step.

  1. Nanofiltration:

Nanofiltration is more energy-efficient than reverse osmosis and is more likely to be used when converting treated wastewater to clean water for residential and business use. The process is similar to reverse osmosis, but it uses lower pressure. It’s also not as effective as reverse osmosis and removes about 90% of salts and almost all of the bacteria, organic matter, and viruses in water. It’s better at removing contaminants than either microfiltration or ultrafiltration.

  1. Reverse Osmosis:

Reverse osmosis requires a filter and is one of the best ways to get contaminants out of water. Water is pushed through a semipermeable membrane to remove viruses, bacteria, organics, dissolved salts, and other particles. It’s only 99% effective, but chemical or UV treatments kill off anything that remains. 

  1. Sand:

There are two types of sand filtration. Slow sand filtration has the water travel through a funnel of sand where bacteria have colonized on the surface of the sand. As the water slowly passes through the bacteria layer known as biofilm, the microbes digest any contaminants. Anything that slips by is caught in the sand. It’s a slow process and requires a lot of space. 

Because slow filtration is a time-consuming process, rapid sand filtration is often preferred. The sand filters have higher flow rates and don’t require as much space, but the sand filters do have to be back-washed regularly.

  1. Ultrafiltration:

We’ve talked about microfiltration and nanofiltration. Ultrafiltration falls between the two in terms of what it can and cannot remove. It’s not good for removing salts, but it’s fantastic at removing bacteria and viruses.

With ultrafiltration, water is pushed through a filter with pores as small as five nanometers at low pressure. The tiny pores capture viruses, organic material, and other contaminants. Filters are back-washed with chemicals from time to time. Typically, ultrafiltration occurs as a pre-treatment step before reverse osmosis.

Which System Is Best?

Which is best? It’s hard to answer that without having a list of the contaminants that are most prevalent in your area.

When it comes to filtration systems, the type you use will vary depending on the contaminants that affect your district’s water. If you have higher levels of E. coli due to a number of area farms, you’ll likely need a different filtration system than a water treatment plant in a city where there are many industrial plants. Working with an expert in water treatment filtration ensures you have the right system.

Continuing research will help make water treatment processes even better. As water treatment plants look for better ways to filter newer contaminants like PCBs and forever chemicals, hopes are to make water cleaner, faster. 

Stay up to date on the latest water treatment advancements by working with an expert in clean water. Lakeside Equipment is nearing a century in water treatment equipment and technologies for your water treatment and wastewater treatment plant. Give us a call or reach us online to learn more about the best water treatment filtration options.

The Advantage of Customized Water Treatment Solutions for Industrial Applications

Water plays a key role in your industry, but you can’t just release that water to a municipal water treatment plant or a nearby river or lake. It contains contaminants that cause environmental damage and make the work the municipal wastewater treatment plant does a lot harder. 

There’s another aspect to consider. The work you do requires the purest possible water for the foods, beverages, or medications you make. If there are any contaminants in the water coming into your plant, it could become a health hazard or reduce the quality of your product. That’s another concern many industries face.

Industrial wastewater and water treatment solutions are never one-size-fits-all. The wastewater treatment solutions for a brewery are going to be less useful to a plastics extrusion company. The solutions for that plastics extrusion company will not be helpful to a poultry processing plant.  A baby formula or pharmaceutical industry will have both aspects to consider.

A standard water treatment system isn’t always going to work for your needs and can end up being a waste of money. Customized wastewater treatment solutions are advantageous for several reasons. Learn more about why your business needs to work on a water treatment system that matches the work you do.

Four  Advantages of Customized Industrial Water Treatment Solutions

There are four key advantages to customized water treatment solutions that industries experience when making upgrades. Check them out.

Solutions Are Customized to Your Business’s Specific Needs

When a water treatment system is designed for you, it’s customized to your exact needs. If your plant makes baby formula and baby formula powder, the water you use needs to be ultra-filtered and boiled to ensure any bacteria is killed and filtered away. However, a company that makes water-based paints may not need to be as stringent.

It’s More Efficient and Effective

Customized solutions are also more effective. If mineral build-up could clog your equipment, you need a water treatment system that takes care of this issue. The amount of calcium in municipal water may be acceptable, but it’s not acceptable for your needs. Customized treatment systems make sure the water you use is appropriate for your industrial processes.

This also makes your company’s processes more efficient. You don’t have to take pre-treatment steps before the water you draw from the city is usable.

Customized Solutions Help You Save Money

Going back to the efficiency that customized water treatment solutions offer, this saves money. You’re using less energy during the different steps your workers follow.

Suppose you don’t use water that’s been specially treated for your industrial plant. You end up with a run of wasted product due to unexpected contaminants in the city’s water due to an unexpected broken main that allowed groundwater and soil into the water line. With a water treatment plant in your company, you’re cleaning water to your needs. As long as you keep your plant maintained and test water quality frequently, you’ll know the quality is fine.

The other aspect is if you install a customized industrial wastewater treatment plant before you release the water to the sewers.  If you release high quantities of PCBs, chemicals, or fats, oil, and grease (FOG) to the sewers, the wastewater treatment plant that receives the sewer water has to work harder to get the water clean. 

This drives up costs for the municipality’s customers. They’re not going to be happy to watch their costs soar because of your company. You could end up facing costly fines or lawsuits. Take preventative measures and keep your costs down.

It Helps the Environment

When you clean and reuse your industry’s water or clean it and release it to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, you’re helping keep dangerous chemicals from the area’s water. It keeps chemicals from making their way into rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and the ocean.

Explore Examples Demonstrating the Advantages of Customized Water Treatment Solutions

Explore several examples that demonstrate how a customized water treatment solution helped different companies save money, improve quality, and become more efficient.

# 1 – Pepsi’s Solution to High Sugar Levels in Wastewater

Pepsi realized the importance of lowering its plant’s carbon footprint and needed to find a way to dispose of expired or poor-quality products. To do this, the company planned to clean the wastewater it generated, but it didn’t have room for a full-size wastewater treatment plant.  

They partnered with wastewater treatment experts to get a smaller system that uses anaerobic bacteria treatments to break down the sugar.  But, those bacteria also generate electricity in the process. The result is that upwards of 85% of the sugar in their wastewater is removed in just one shift. The company lowered the amount of high-sugar wastewater being sent to the district.

#2 – Microsoft 

Microsoft realized they were using too much water. They decided to collect rainwater across their campus and install a water treatment plant in their facility. The goal is to no longer rely on public water at all by 2030.

The rainwater is treated and used in their cooling towers, bathrooms, and landscaping needs. The water from flushed toilets and sinks is recaptured and treated in a continual cycle. Plus, they added watersheds or measures to protect watersheds in their different locations to help put more water back in streams, rivers, and lakes.

#3 – Semiconductor Plants and Chip Manufacturers

Several companies that fabricate chips and semiconductors needed to make big changes. A large chip fab can use as much as 10 million gallons each day. That’s an incredible waste of water in regions where water is running low. 

Taiwan was one of the first countries to experience the importance of water recycling. A severe drought could have ended operations from some of the world’s biggest semiconductor manufacturing plants. To end this problem, they invest in water treatment plants. These plants clean the water to a level it is suitable for reuse to make more chips or semiconductors. 

#4 – The Clothing Industry

In Asia, three rivers in Dhaka were killed by the industrial dyes used in the fabrics used to make clothing. The World Bank identified more than five dozen dangerous chemicals that were in these rivers. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 has raised awareness of this issue and measures are underway to clean the chemicals from the wastewater and make it possible for the factories to reuse the treated water.

Partner With an Expert in Clean Water

You can’t just buy water treatment equipment and put together a system you think will do what it needs. You need to have an expert in water treatment to help you plan the best path forward.

Save money, have higher quality products, and lessen the burden on your municipality’s wastewater treatment plant with customized water treatment solutions. Lakeside Equipment is backed by close to a century of water treatment solutions and advancements. We can help you find high-quality solutions that do everything you need and more, at a price point that matches your budget. 

Arrange a consultation with Lakeside Equipment’s water treatment specialists. Our engineers, field technicians, and support personnel are by your side every step of the way. Reach Lakeside Equipment online or by phone.