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How Often Should Wastewater Treatment Plans Be Updated?

Changes to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 led to the Clean Water Act we know today. Every few years, new rules or amendments continue to improve water quality across the nation. We’ve seen amendments in 1977 and 1978, 1984 and 1985, 1987, 1990, 1993 and 1994, right up to the Phase II Store Water Rule and Confined Animal Feeding Operation Rule in 1999 and 2002.

If you’re only updating your wastewater treatment plan when amendments are added or altered, you’re doing your plant and residential customers a disservice. You should always be looking at ways to be more efficient and more effective. With some areas experiencing lengthy droughts and increased water usage, we all need to do more to reuse wastewater. That’s just one area to focus your attention on.

Problems Wastewater Treatment Plants Face

The population keeps growing. With those changes, the EPA points out some of the biggest problems wastewater treatments face. All of them need to be addressed. You may not need to take care of them now, but you shouldn’t be caught by surprise if any of these common issues occur. By planning for them in advance, you’re able to arrange the improvements before it’s an emergency.

#1 – Wastewater treatment plants in many corners of the U.S. are aging. If you haven’t updated your equipment, you’re wasting money on repairs and paying more in electricity because the older wastewater equipment uses more energy than newer models.

#2 – Expanding populations may be taxing your system. St. George, Utah, has seen its population expand by close to 6.7 times over the past four decades. The Virgin River watershed is the area’s largest source of water. Officials are looking at building a 140-mile pipeline from Lake Powell to St. George. They’re planning in advance of a crisis. This is what you should be thinking about when you’re looking over your water treatment plan.

#3 – The range of contaminants getting into wastewater has changed over the decades. The increase in population also impacts this. People are building more homes in the country that require septic systems as sewer systems don’t tend to expand past the cities and suburbs. Homes on septic systems have high rates of nitrogen and phosphorus in their septic system’s fluids and solids. Older water treatment plants may not remove as much as a newer system. The elevated levels of nitrogen and phosphorus make their way into waterways where it causes algal blooms to flourish. Prescription medication usage and household cleaners also make their way into the wastewater.

#4 – Farms are on a decline in some areas. In areas where farming is still a major industry, the runoff of fertilizers and manure adds to pollution. That runoff can make its way into streams and rivers without being treated. Communities are working at changing that as the pollution shows up in lakes and other water sources. When those bodies of water are part of a municipal water system, water treatment plants have to make sure the water they treat meets quality standards. That can be harder when they’re dealing with chemical fertilizers and animal manure.

Upgrades That Pay For Themselves

Wastewater treatment plants can power the equipment using nature. Solar and wind power are two ways to power the machinery used in a plant without driving up larger electricity bills. A wastewater treatment plant in Massachusetts added a fixed-array solar system to provide power to some of the town’s water treatment plant. Since that addition, the monthly utility bill has dropped by approximately 50%. The company is able to clean water and keep costs down for the area’s taxpayers. It’s a win-win for both sides.

Newer equipment can be easier to maintain. Today’s screw pumps are designed to lower your operating costs and cut maintenance costs. Grit washers that keep the bearings above the water leave don’t require as much in maintenance costs. This keeps your costs down. Corrosion-resistant stainless steel helps your equipment last longer, which also cuts equipment costs. Are you worried about the expense of constructing a new system? A Raptor Complete Plant is pre-assembled to save time and money when upgrading your equipment.

How often you upgrade your water treatment plan does require a little thought. A system that was built to handle the expanding population may not need upgrades as often as a small-town system that’s older and at max capacity. Lakeside Equipment is happy to discuss your current system and the improvements that are cost-effective and energy-efficient.

Since 1928, Lakeside Equipment has been helping our customers create water treatment systems that are both efficient and cost-effective. Lakeside is committed to planning and installing quality systems that benefit the public and the companies that work hard to keep the water clean. Give us a call to discuss how you can upgrade your system so that the improvements pay for themselves.

Municipal Wastewater Treatment Tips

A municipal wastewater treatment facility must meet regulations. The problem is those regulations change. If your plant’s equipment is failing to meet the changing regulations, you face fines and penalties. If you’re just starting out, those same regulations apply to your new water treatment plant.

The goal of wastewater treatment is to remove pollutants and contaminants from sewer/septic water and run-off. Animal waste, chemical cleaners, pharmaceuticals, and pathogens like cholera are all examples of these contaminants and pollutants. In order to keep streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans clean for swimming and fishing, water must be cleaned, treated, and returned to homes or the environment. Before the water is returned, it must meet tests to ensure it’s free of minerals and heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and mercury. These guidelines are set by the government.

How do you meet the demands of the municipality you’re serving and keep up with the changing regulations? These municipal wastewater treatment tips help you prioritize the importance of the right wastewater treatment system.

Recycling Water is Important to the Planet’s Future

The EPA estimates a person uses 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. Agricultural use raises this even higher. The USGS estimates 322 billion gallons are used each day in all. Residential use is around 39 billion gallons per day.

The importance of recycling wastewater has been shown around the world as water sources dry up. Lake Mead is a good example. The lake provides water to the majority of homes in Southern Nevada. The lake level has decreased drastically over the years. When full, the lake is just under 1,230 feet. In recent years, the lake has reached a high of 1,090 feet. Recycled water could lower the demand for these water sources. Instead of drawing from lakes and rivers, water treatment plants could turn wastewater into clean drinking water to return to public water sources.

Maintenance is a Must

Juneau, Alaska, learned about inadequate wastewater systems back in 2000 when the EPA sued the city for $60,000 and talked about criminal charges for allowing raw sewage to be discharged into local waterways. Some of the wastewater was backing up into homes. Public Works found that a lack of maintenance was to blame. Preventative maintenance and timely repairs would have prevented this lawsuit.

You should not wait until a part fails before you take steps to repair it. Scheduled maintenance keeps equipment running. It also lets you know when upgrades or repairs are essential to ensure you’re meeting regulations. In Juneau’s case, the fecal coliform counts in the water released to the waterways was 437,000 percent higher than the EPA allows.

Consider Future Residential Growth

Juneau’s system can handle 35,000 residents, but it’s expected that the population will exceed the current systems in 15 years or so. A new plant would be expensive to build. The city estimates that connections to a new location could cost as much as $30,000 per lot and around $1,000 per meter of necessary piping. Landowners currently pay $5,000 per lot. The city would need to get grant money and loans to offset the cost to homeowners.

Water treatment plants need to consider future growth. If your system is able to handle the wastewater from 25,000 residents now, what happens if there is a population boom 5, 10, or 20 years from now. You’ll be forced to expand, whether you have the money available or not. If you look to the future from the start, you’re able to buy time until the expansion is needed. You also avoid costly fines from the EPA.

Upgrades That Boost Efficiency Are Worth the Expense

Don’t avoid upgrading your wastewater treatment equipment due to the cost. As one water precinct learned, upgrades ended up paying for themselves in little time. Adding solar panels or wind turbines to power their equipment saved them money. Variable-frequency drives also added extra savings bringing the total yearly savings to around $80,000 with just a few upgrades.

A water treatment plant’s biggest expense is power. Get equipment that uses less electricity than your current equipment. Energy-efficient motors, variable-frequency drives, and switching to LED lighting makes a difference. Choose aerators that use less horsepower while being just as effective. Running motors more during the night when electricity rates are reduced also lowers operating costs.

If you’re new or building a new plant, you’re probably already getting energy-efficient wastewater treatment equipment. You’ll still lower your operating costs by looking at renewable energy sources like solar and wind power for some of the electricity your facility consumes.

Talk to Lakeside Equipment about these and other tips to help your municipal wastewater treatment plant work efficiently and effectively. We offer a wide range of wastewater treatment equipment and parts to ensure you stay within your budget while improving your system. Give us a call at (630) 837-5640.

5 New Innovations In Water Treatment Technology

Water treatment technology has come a long way. New Jersey’s Jersey City started everything by being the nation’s first city to regularly treating water for the community’s residents. That was 1908. Within 10 years, thousands of other communities followed suit and helped lower the rates of disease and infection linked to contaminated water.

At the time, cholera and typhoid fever were two of the most common diseases spread through contaminated water. By 1920, less than 20 years from the nation’s first water treatment system, the number of cases declined from 0.001% of the population to approximately 0.00034%. Advancements in water treatment continue to help eliminate these diseases. In 2006, the number of cases was minuscule at 0.000001%.

Today’s focus isn’t all on quality. Today’s water treatment advancements focus on everything from energy efficiency to recycling wastewater. Here are five innovations in water technology you need to know about.

Solar-Powered Water Treatment

The reliance on electricity has been a concern for water treatment. If a power grid is knocked out for days following a catastrophic event or storm, it can severely impact water treatment plants. The loss of pressure can allow contaminants to get into groundwater. If a pump shuts down, untreated sewage could get into nearby streams, rivers, and lakes.

Zero-emissions is another focus. Cleaner air is important for the world. The more people embrace green practices, the less impact these processes have on the environment. There’s also the cost of running a plant. Water treatment is paid for through water bills. Homeowners may struggle with increasing bills. Keeping costs low for the community is important.

One of the ways companies are working around this is by tapping into the sun’s energy. An Arizona water treatment plant installed close to 23,000 solar panels to produce the bulk of the energy needed to operate the plant. By switching to solar power, the plant expects to save more than $1.6 million.

The Sun Can Also Help Process Hydrogen

Hydrogen is used in everything from the fertilizer that farms use to plastics manufacturing. Princeton University came up with a way to draw hydrogen from wastewater using the power of the sun. By creating a silicon processing chamber, bacteria and sun work together to force the water to split. The hydrogen bubbles to the top where it can be collected and used in industrial settings. The water continues on its way through the water treatment plant.

Turning Algae Into Biofuel

Gas-powered cars are the norm. Many heating systems rely on propane and kerosene. Researchers have been working hard to find alternatives to gas. Researchers are looking at algae as an option. With an algae water treatment plant, it can double as a biofuel plant.

Some wastewater treatment plants use algae to process some of the waste. After the effluent is treated, you have algae left over. That algae can be converted into biofuel. Algae used for treating water also helps lower electricity use. A Cal Poly study compared a nutrient-removal system to an algae system and the cost dropped from around $950,000 per year to $300,000.

Membrane Water Treatment

A water treatment plant in Singapore is testing out technology designed to reduce liquid waste by more than 90%. A fiber membrane filter allows water to pass through the filter at speeds that are 30% faster than current filtration systems. The metals in the wastewater the filter processes go into a concentrated liquid that can be reused in other industries. It’s believed the energy savings will be five times less at a membrane filtration plant.

Improved Stormwater Management

In the country, heavy rainfall puddles on the ground and eventually works its way through the soil where it’s filtered. In a city, that heavy rainfall rushes to the sewers where it can overload a water treatment plant. It may back up and cause flooding that causes erosion.

Stormwater management techniques are being developed to help prevent this. Some of the methods being used are to have water from rooftops go into gutters that connect to rain barrels. Those rain barrels can be used to water gardens. Rain gardens are popping up on the sides of city streets to collect runoff. It adds greenery to city streets, which also boosts oxygen going into the environment. This all lowers the rush of water going to water treatment plants or running into streams and lakes where the polluted water enters the water source without first being treated.

Lakeside Equipment understands the advancements the water treatment industry has seen. Founded in 1928, we’ve helped customers around the world create clean water for people in a cost-effective manner. We pride ourselves on quality systems that match your budget. Call us for more information.

Does Wastewater Become Drinking Water?

Have you ever thought of what happens to the water that gets flushed down the toilet, the rainwater that goes into sewers, or water that’s washed clothing and dishes? Every day in the U.S., the average person uses as much as 100 gallons of water. Flushing toilets and taking showers and baths are two of the biggest culprits.

All of that wastewater that’s being flushed or drained into septic tanks or sewers can be recycled. People aren’t often comfortable with that idea. They can’t imagine taking toilet water and recycling it into clean drinking water. In fact, a questionnaire found that almost half of those surveyed said they would be willing to try recycled wastewater. Just over 1 in 10 said there was absolutely no way they’d drink it. Would you? It might be the only way to prevent water shortages.

Why Do Countries Need to Start Recycling Waste Water?

Throughout the world, there are countries struggling to meet the public’s demand for water. Water scarcity occurs due to the climate and/or failing infrastructure. According to the United Nation, more than 2 billion people already live in a country that is dealing with water scarcity.

Chennai, India, gained a lot of attention in 2019 when Chembarambakkam Lake, one of the city’s largest water reservoirs dried up despite receiving 30 inches of rain in 2018. The lack of water is affecting businesses and close to 10 million residents. Emergency trucks and trains can’t bring in the water fast enough to keep up with demand.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations finds that 96% of the world’s water use comes from bodies of fresh water, such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. As the climate changes and water sources dry up, it could be disastrous. Turning wastewater into drinking water is not only possible, but it’s also one of the best ways to keep cities and towns from running out of water.

How Does Wastewater Become Drinking Water?

Water arrives at a wastewater treatment plant where solids and large particles are filtered. Those solids are removed and composted, sent to a landfill, or incinerated. Grit removal is next. Small stones, sand, and other smaller particles sink into a chamber where they are removed. The remaining water flows to the next stage.

This removes some of the waste from the water, but it can’t remove it all. The secondary treatment stages start. This process involves making the most of the bacteria and oxygenating the wastewater. Bacteria help consume smaller particles that have made it through to this stage. The bacteria do their job before the water is filtered through very fine filter systems. Chlorine is added to the resulting water to kill bacteria and the odor that remains. Chlorine kills about 99% of the bacteria that remain in the water. The chlorine has to be removed and then water is ready for the next step.

This clean water needs to be processed for human consumption. Dechlorination is the next step. It’s a process used to remove excess chlorine and may use exposure to ultraviolet lighting. Some water treatment plants use reverse osmosis, which uses pressure to force the water through filters. These filters remove additional bacteria, remnants of prescription medications that are still present in the water, and any viruses that have made it through. Additional chemicals are used and then UV lighting helps remove those chemicals.

Once this is complete, the water is sent to natural water supplies. It mixes with these natural water supplies, is filtered again, and makes its way back to homes and businesses through the water lines and pipes. By the time it reaches homes, people would have a hard time believing the crystal clear water came from a wastewater treatment plant.

California’s Already Doing It

California’s Orange Country residents have already embraced recycled water. When one of the county’s reservoirs reached critical lows after years of drought conditions, the Orange County Water District took action. The plant cleans and returns up to 100 million gallons of wastewater each day and returns it to the public water system. The treated wastewater is mixed with the main water supply and reaches hundreds of thousands of people.

The right equipment is needed through each of these stages of water treatment and purification. Founded in 1928, Lakeside Equipment helps companies and cities around the world plan and implement water treatment systems that deliver results while also being an economical solution. The equipment is designed to last and help with energy costs at the same time. Call 1-630-837-5640 to discuss upgrading your current water treatment system to be cost-effective while delivering clean, recycled wastewater to area homes and businesses.

Is Wastewater Treatment Energy Efficient & Sustainable?

Since the Clean Water Act’s existence, improvements continue to be made both to improve water quality and reduce energy consumption. Since 1972, the U.S. government has provided $104 billion towards the Clean Water Act. However, it’s estimated that another $271 billion will be needed by 2038 to keep meeting the Clean Water Act’s goals. Some of those goals are:

  • Improve energy-efficiency in water treatment plants
  • Improve the reuse and recycling of stormwater and wastewater throughout the U.S.
  • Improve security at treatment plants to protect our public water systems

The energy consumed by a water treatment plant depends on several factors. One of the biggest is how deep the water source is. The deeper the aquifer, the more energy is used to pump it out. The farther the water source is from the consumers and businesses, the more energy is used pumping water to those buildings. While a company may not be able to control these factors, the right equipment can help lower costs.

What Will Help Improve Sustainability?

How do you make sure your plans are also sustainable? Water treatment is only one part of getting clean water to people. You’ve seen stories of communities put on water restrictions because water supplies are drying up during a drought. There’s also the issue of repairs to the infrastructure costing more than cities and towns have available. To be sustainable, governments need to focus on reusing stormwater and wastewater. To do that and be energy-efficient, careful attention to equipment and processes is needed.

How Can You Improve Energy-Efficiency at a Water Treatment Plant?

The EPA has a good breakdown of where the most energy is used in a water treatment plant. Getting water from a source to a water treatment plant takes as much as 14,000 kWh per million gallons. Treating the water takes as much as 16,000 kWh per million gallons and distributing it to consumers and businesses add another 700 to 1,200 kWh per million gallons.

Newer energy-efficiency equipment is one of the steps to improving energy consumption. These are some of the things you can consider when looking into plant improvements.

#1 – Pumps

When it comes to screw pumps, there are two types. Open screw pumps sit in concrete or steel troughs and can be set at an angle of 22 to 40 degrees. The screw turns and pushes water along the trough to the desired location. With the open screw pumps at Lakeside Equipment, the pumping capacity varies and delivers 70 to 75% efficiency.

The other type of pump is an enclosed screw pump. The screw pump sits within a tube and can incline up to 45 degrees for Type C or 22 to 40 degrees for Type S. While Type S costs less to maintain or repair, Type C is up to 10 percent more efficient than an open screw pump. Type C is a good choice for a water treatment plant that is focused on efficiency.

#2 – Screening Systems

Screening systems remove solids and scum as water is being processed. Grit and rock removal systems can be part of a screening system, too. By screening solids, sludge, scum, and other items from the water, you reduce clogs and wear and tear on equipment. It aids the cleaning process and helps keep maintenance and operating costs lower. It also helps reduce the amount of waste being disposed of, which is better for the environment.

#3 – Aerators

Aerators increase the oxygen levels in the water that’s being treated and keep sludge and scum from settling during the treatment stages. This improves efficiency during the biological treatment stages and reduces power consumption.

#4 – SCADA

Another energy-efficient step companies can take is to install SCADA software. This software can pinpoint issues within a water treatment plant, but it also monitors the water flow and adjusts the pump rate to ensure a plant is getting the highest level of efficiency at all hours of the day. If energy consumption spikes, workers are alerted and can immediately find out what’s going on and fix the issue before a lot of energy is wasted.

#5 – Other Changes

Some changes that help improve energy-efficiency are smaller. Installing energy-efficient lighting systems will reduce a water treatment plant’s carbon footprint. Adding solar panels or wind turbines to help produce energy a water treatment plant uses. Checking and repairing leaks in a water system is also important.

Lakeside Equipment helps companies plan cost-effective water treatment plants that don’t require a lot of maintenance. Our team of engineers helps you build a system that meets your energy goals, doesn’t take more space than is necessary, and improves sustainability. Talk to us about upgrading your equipment or coming up with a trouble-free, high-performing water treatment plan. We’re happy to help you achieve your goals.

Wastewater Treatment Security – How Our Water Is Protected & Monitored

The U.S. has close to 170,000 public water systems and publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants. Over 80% of the U.S. population gets their water from these systems. Wastewater treatment security is essential to making sure U.S. households receive clean, safe water and have a place for sewerage to go.

The Water and Wastewater Systems Sector, a division of Homeland Security, covers a lot of ground. It protects against attacks with deadly chemicals and other contaminants. It protects computer systems within a wastewater treatment plant or public water system from cyberattacks. It keeps people from maliciously releasing harmful chemicals into clean water holding tanks.

You also have the EPA enforcing the rules in the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. These rules keep corporations from releasing large quantities of oils, grease, and other pollutants into water treatment plants. They also enforce rules regarding the discharge of stormwater into waterways.

Federal, State, and Local Agencies Work Together

Multiple agencies work together to ensure security and safety when it comes to public water and water treatment. Each agency may start out with a specific goal, but they work together to ensure standards for security are met. In addition, they work with local law enforcement and personnel at water treatment plants. Several goals are implemented to heighten security and safety.

The first goal is to make sure that cybersecurity and physical security are both implemented in a water treatment plant. The EPA and Waster and Wastewater Sector teams look at possible hazards and issues and come up with recommendations for changing them. State and federal water standards are also set and national labs do the testing to make sure water meets safety requirements. With these measures in place, the focus turns to maintaining a water treatment plant’s security and safety.

Security is only part of a plan to protect our water. The Clean Water Act Action Plan is handled by the EPA. It focuses on preventing pollution from getting into waterways by managing farm runoff, working on prevention of sewer overflows, managing stormwater runoff in urban areas, managing construction site pollution, and preventing contaminated water from industrial factories from creating problems.

The public can access this information through the EPA’s State Water Dashboard. They can find out if their local water system is in compliance or has issues. They can bring up what water treatment plant or facility didn’t comply and what the issues were.

Testing to Ensure Drinking Water is Safe

The Clean Water Act dates back to 1948. It regulates the quality of U.S. surface water and water that’s piped to homes on that water system. There are limits on more than 90 contaminants that are found in drinking water. Water treatment plants have to test for these contaminants that range from bacterial infections to organic chemicals. If they’re found, the public must be notified and the issue must be investigated and corrected.

Federal laws require public water to be tested. How frequently this is done depends on the size of the system. Some water treatment plants are set up to have the water quality monitored remotely through SCADA technology. Remote monitoring is capable of returning this data every hour. Others test the water quality once a month, ponce per quality, or once a year.

Water Treatment Plants and Federal Agencies Rely on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)

SCADA helps users collect information from different components and sensors. In a water treatment plant, a SCADA system is getting information from pumps, valves, and other water treatment equipment. This information can be collected from a remote location, which increases the risk of cyberattack, but it also helps plant managers understand if there are issues. With security protocol in place, such as keeping the system off a DSL connection, there’s less risk of a breach. Strong passwords, firewalls, virus and malware protection, and VPN connections also help.

One of the biggest benefits of SCADA is that a system can be set up with sensors that measure the water’s chlorine levels, pH, and turbidity. This information is constantly available, which helps water treatment plant personnel control quality and make changes if anything is wrong.

Lakeside Equipment can help water treatment plants improve performance and cut costs. With an automated process control system, energy efficiency is achieved. Paired with SCADA systems, security and quality can be monitored around the clock. SCADA systems can monitor chemical levels, check for leaks or problems with machinery, and send alerts if there are issues.

Talk to Lakeside Equipment about the Sharp Biological Nutrient Removal process control system. We’re happy to help you upgrade your equipment while also keeping your budget in mind. Call 1-630-837-5640 to learn more about Sharp BNR.

Building a Sustainable Water Future – 3 Trends to Watch

Chennai, a capital city on India’s Bay of Bengal, went a full 200 days without any rainfall. This is worrisome news for a city that is home to a third of the country’s automotive industry and a major player in India’s film industry. The city’s water reservoirs have dipped to the point that they only hold 1% of their capacity.

Water is being trucked in, and it can take a full month for a water tanker to arrive. The flow of water to homes in the city is at just 10% of what it used to be. Workers and school children are asked to bring their own water to work or school. The fear of going completely dry is a daily worry for people in and around this city.

Lack of rainfall is only part of the city’s issue. Mismanagement of the water sources and lack of foresight are also to blame. The city didn’t do what it should have to build a sustainable water future. Everyone should be focusing on this issue, but some take having clean water for granted. It’s time to look at building a sustainable water future, and these are the trends people should be watching.

Infrastructure Improvements

One area that’s lacking in some cities is updated infrastructure. Underground water pipes across the country are springing leaks. This water ends up going into the ground and never making it to homes and businesses. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) shares a few facts that make it clear that infrastructure must be a priority.

The U.S. has 1 million miles of pipes that deliver clean water to homes and businesses. Many of these pipes were installed between 1900 to 1950 and were only intended to last 75 to 100 years. As the infrastructure degrades, it’s estimated that there are 240,000 water main breaks each year. How much water is being lost in those costly breaks? The ASCE’s estimates are more than 2 trillion gallons.

In addition to replacing worn pipes and water mains, water treatment plants need to make sure their equipment is in good working order. Over time, grit can wear down the pumps and valves round in water treatment equipment. It can build up in tanks and water channels and cause additional issues. Upgrading equipment before it fails completely helps ensure people have access to clean water.

Smart Technology

Smart technology is helping homeowners manage their homes from a remote location. That same technology is being used in water treatment and public water systems. With smart technology, municipalities can monitor their infrastructure for leaks and catch them early. They can monitor the pressure and workflow. The goal is to lower costs by finding problems before they become excessively expensive.

When water systems are managed using smart technology, it enables water districts to monitor consumers’ water usages with the supply of water flowing. This has the power to reduce operating costs, and the savings can be used to help pay for other aspects like repairs to infrastructure. Some cities are also starting to cut costs pairing smart technology with alternative energy sources like solar-powered water pumps, which helps increase the overall costs of supplying water to residents and businesses in that district.

Wastewater Reuse

Reusing water has been an effort across the country. It’s one of the best ways to make sure rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes don’t run dry. As a household or business uses water, it’s sent back to the water treatment plant to be cleaned, chemically treated to remove bacteria, and returned to water sources or storage systems to repeat the cycle.

Major companies are starting to invest in this trend. For example, Intel Corporation, a name you wouldn’t associate with water treatment, invested $25 million in it’s Oregon manufacturing plant. The water it uses to manufacture microchips will be treated in an on-site water plant and returned to the community.

Breweries are also jumping on this trend. A lot of water is used to make beer. Not only is it a main ingredient, but it’s used to rinse grains and wash equipment after the beer is made. Vermont’s Alchemist Brewery worked with experts to create wastewater practices that would reduce the strain they were putting on the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Lakeside Equipment can help you boost your water treatment plant’s performance using these and other trends. We create designs that are specific to your budget and needs while also focusing on efficiency and quality. We also have replacement parts if your current system needs repairs. Talk to our experts to discuss how we can help.

What is an Archimedes Screw Pump?

The Archimedes screw has been used for ages to move water from a place of lower elevation to another at a higher elevation. Originally, it was operated by hand. Today, the pumps can be powered by wind energy, solar power, or an electrical motor.

This system has a large screw that sits within a cylindrical shaft or sits in an open chute. The bottom of that screw sits in the lower water source. Turning the crank puts the screw in motion. Water collects on the lower thread and is propelled upwards to the top of the cylindrical tube or trough through the continuous motion.

You’ve probably seen Archimedes screws at work. They’re used in snow blowers to propel the snow through the chute where it can be directed to a bank or roadside. They’re used in chocolate fountains to push the melted chocolate to the top of the fountain where it flows down the tiers and back to the heated collection pool where it travels back up and repeats the process.

Archimedean screw pumps are used in waste treatment plants. As the gap between the screw blades is wide, they can cut through solids without clogging. They can pump storm water, drain waterlogged land, and are useful in industrial settings where water needs to move from a low area to a higher one.

Open vs. Enclosed Screw Pumps

There are two types of Archimedes screw pumps. If the screw is enclosed in a pipe, it’s an enclosed screw pump. With an open screw pump, the screw sits in a concrete trough and is open to the environment.

Enclosed screw pumps come in a choice of Type C or Type S. Type C has the screw sitting within a tube that rotates. As a result, the Type C pump can sit at an angle of up to 45 degrees, which takes up less space. Type S must be at a 22 to 40 degree incline as the tube is stationary. You can opt to mount the tube on a pivot to allow it to be raised or lowered in order to change the pumping rate. Other advantages are:

  • Higher efficiency
  • Option for drop-in replacements of older equipment
  • Lower installation costs

With an open screw pump, the trough needs to be at an incline of 22 to 40 degrees. The screw has upper and lower bearings that help it rotate. There’s also the drive assembly. Self-aligning bearings can be submerged or not and keep maintenance to a minimum by having permanent lubrication to prevent wear and tear. You also gain these benefits when choosing an open screw pump:

  • Up to 75% efficiency for most of the operating capacity
  • Do not close or need pre-screening
  • Minimal maintenance

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Archimedes Screw Pump

An Archimedean or Archimedes screw pump is designed to meet your needs, but you need to consider a few factors when making your final choice.

Start with the capacity you’re aiming to meet. How much liquid are you moving from one flight (level) to the next? This needs to be clear several other factors are considered in order to ensure the screw pump design matches your goals. If you pick a screw pump with too small of a screw, the capacity will be effected by the smaller diameter.

As the screw pushes the liquid up the trough or tube, the angle cannot be too steep. If you have too steep a slope, the liquid will continue to leak back to the lowest pool. Most screw tubes are set at an angle of 30 to 38 degrees. To keep the incline at the right angle, you’ll need to have enough flights to maintain that level of incline. Your capacity increases by around 25% for each flight you add to your design.

How fast do you need the screw pump to work? If the screw isn’t rotating fast enough, the liquid will overflow and return to the bottom chamber. If it’s too fast, it can be just as wasteful. Finding the right balance helps the system remain efficient and lowers energy use. The correct horsepower helps here. You need a pump motor that lifts the liquid at the right rate and handles your desired capacity.

Lakeside Equipment sells both open and enclosed screw pumps. Lakeside Screw Pumps are made in the U.S. and designed to be around 70% efficient, which reduces your energy use. We pride ourselves in supplying affordable screw heads that remain easy to use and maintain. Give us a call. We can help you find the right Archimedes screw pump for your needs. Reach us at (630) 837-5640.

Global Activated Carbon/Charcoal Market & Water Purification

Water treatment dates back to at least 4000 B.C. Ancient Greek documents discussed purifying water by running it through charcoal, exposing it to the UV rays of the sun, and boiling it prior to consumption. This was done to kill bacteria, remove odors, improve taste, and eliminate cloudiness.

There are also historical records showing that Ancient Egyptians added alum to water to help clarify it by suspending the particles floating in it. In the 1800s, the cholera outbreak in London was found to stem from sewage that got into a well used for drinking water. Louis Pasteur would be the person to show how bacteria in the water could cause disease in people.

Our water today is cleaner because of the world’s history and discoveries along the way. Today, activated charcoal, or activated carbon, is one of the components used in water filtration systems. In 2017, activated charcoal was a major player in water filtration, but substances like olive pits, shells from nuts, and coconut fibers are also being used. Before the year 2025 ends, it’s expected that the global activated carbon market will be worth more than $6.6 billion.

How Activated Carbon Filters Water

You’ve heard of the term absorb, which is to soak something up. Activated charcoal or carbon is a little different. It adsorbs odors and substances from liquids. Instead of absorbing these odors and substances, it bonds to them. That’s called adsorption.

A process using oxygen turns charcoal very porous. Those tiny pores trap and hold the substances that cause off-colors and odors in water. It can trap and hold things like chlorine, toxins, and even some prescription drugs that make their way into water sources.

In a household, you might have a water purification system like Brita or PUR that attaches to your faucet or a water pitcher and removes impurities and odors from your tap water. People often use them to remove the chlorine odor and taste that remains in public drinking water.

In a water treatment plant, crushed activated carbon or charcoal can help remove excess chlorine, organic materials, and other impurities. To do this, the crushed carbon is added right to the water where it removes the contaminants and then is removed after it settles with other sediments in holding tanks. Once it is removed, it can move to compost areas or landfills.

Sometimes, activated carbon pairs with a UV disinfection system to aid in the removal of chlorine and other compounds that affect the taste and smell of water that’s been treated.

Placement of an Activated Carbon Filtration System

The Environmental Protection Agency lists two ways to implement an activated carbon filtration system in a water treatment plant. One is a granular activated carbon filter that is added after the rapid mix, flocculation/sedimentation, and filtration steps. Water flows into the granular activated carbon filter once the water has been in the filtration tanks. This is known as post-filtration adsorption.

The second placement is as part of the filtration tank. The granulated charcoal sits in the bottom of the filtration tank where it filters out odors and other contaminants. In this type of system, you have the rapid mix, flocculation/sedimentation, and filtration.

It’s Important for Water Treatment Plants to Keep Up With Regulations

Regulations on water quality and purification change regularly. At the moment, the EPA has regulations in place for more than 90 contaminants. The public can request that it gets added to the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). This request list is published at and accepted nominations for additional contaminants at the end of 2018. Verdicts on whether or not the contaminants were added or not are also published on the EPA’s site under Current and Previous CCLs.

The last update for the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations was released in 2009. As more items are added, water filtration plants have to keep up with the changes and make sure their equipment and tests look for those new contaminants. Activated carbon filtration often helps remove some of these new contaminants.

Lakeside Equipment has one piece of equipment that’s an essential part of any water treatment plant. Look into the stainless steel or PES filter cloth screening that’s part of the MicroStar Filter. This final step in water treatment runs your cleaned water through the filter cloth and backwashes any remaining contaminants into a central hopper where it is discharged. It’s an energy efficient step in the final stage of water filtration.

Learn more about the MicroStar Filter and Lakeside Equipment’s other clarification and filtration equipment. Our experts can help you find the right water filtration system at the right price. We’ve been in the water filtration business for more than 90 years and are happy to share our expertise with you. Call 630-837-5640 for more information.

Don’t Update Your Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plan Until You Read These Tips

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act changed how wastewater discharge was handled. The goal was to help keep biological and chemical contaminants out of U.S. waterways. Over the years, changes were made. They included:

  • 1977, 1981, and 1987 saw amendments made after the original amendments in 1972.
  • Secondary treatment regulations were enacted in the mid-1970s and changed in 1985.
  • The National Pretreatment Program Rule came out in 1978.
  • A National Municipal Policy was enacted in 1984.
  • Stormwater rules came out in 1990 and were updated in 1999.
  • Rules regarding the use and disposal of sludge came out in 1993 and raw discharge came to an end by 1996.
  • The Federal Clean Water Action Plan came out in 1998.

Each time the rules change, municipal water treatment plants need to make sure they can meet the new guidelines and rules. The U.S. EPA says that many wastewater and treatment facilities have outdated equipment that requires repairs or replacement.

It’s getting harder for wastewater treatment plants to keep up with the growing population and changes to wastewater pollutants. It’s estimated that 33% of new developments require systems such as septic systems. It’s the only way states can keep up with the growth and spread from cities with wastewater treatment plants.

To make sure they meet the current laws and regulations, make sure your municipal water treatment plans are kept up-to-date. Before you make changes, read these tips to make sure you’re making the right decisions.

How Old Is Your Equipment?

It does cost a lot of money to replace the equipment in a wastewater treatment plant. That said, how much are you spending on repairs each year? Are you able to keep up with the demand? Has your equipment failed and created spills that led to fines?

While it can cost money to purchase and install new wastewater equipment, you can end up saving money. You won’t pay as much in emergency maintenance. It will cost less to run the equipment and production increases. In little time, you’ll recoup the money you’ve spent.

Can You Meet the Growing Population?

In your municipality, are you able to meet the needs of a growing population? If not, it’s time to expand your plant. You don’t want your wastewater treatment plant to become overloaded. When you expand, it may be worthwhile to build a system that’s larger than you need. This accounts for future growth, too.

If you can’t expand due to a lack of space, you can look for machines and technologies that increase capacity without taking up more space. For example, Lakeside’s H-PAC system is designed to take up less space while also reducing operating and engineering costs. You’ll be able to do more without having to build additions and buy up land for the expansion.

Energy Efficiency is an Important Factor

It’s estimated that water treatment plants and the water industry use as much as 4% of the nation’s energy. With demands for better wastewater treatment plans, there are also concerns over the cost of electricity. The EPA estimates that up to 40% of a municipality’s budget is for the wastewater treatment plant’s electricity. Public water systems usage of electricity accounts for as much as 80% of a municipality’s budget.

To keep from blowing a budget, there’s a need for wastewater treatment plans to look at the equipment that reduces operating costs. Water treatment is going to use energy. You have pumps and equipment using electricity 24/7. You can do your part by looking into equipment that can do the job correctly for the lowest operating costs.

How Much of a Hassle Do You Face if the Regulations Change Again?

Think about the last time the regulations shifted. Were you able to meet the changing regulations with ease or was it a struggle? Taxpayers often balk when it comes to increasing town and city budgets by a large percentage, so you have to consider their ability to pay more in taxes, too. Upgrading equipment is one solution, but you might be able to make improvements with some modifications to your existing plan or by modifying your water treatment plant’s buildings. One of the easiest ways to decide is by working with professionals who are ready to help you find economical solutions.

Lakeside Equipment specializes in the design and installation of water purification systems for companies and municipalities. We also help you find the parts you need for your older equipment. With more than 90 years in the industry, you can trust Lakeside to find you the best solutions for your water treatment plan.

Let us know more about your goals. We can help you come up with the best plan for your budgetary needs. Give us a call today at 630-837-5640.