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 EPA.gov 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.

Is Tap Water in the United States Safe?

The media has brought a lot of attention to the situation Flint, Michigan, residents face with unclean drinking water. It has many wondering if the tap water in the U.S. is safe. Yes, it is. Since the discovery of lead in Flint’s water, replacement of lead and galvanized steel water lines has been an ongoing process. More than a dozen people were also charged with causing or adding to the water crisis.

The truth is that the U.S. has about 155,000 public water systems. Each one undergoes regular testing to ensure water quality. Water quality in the U.S. is outstanding thanks to laws and regulations that have been enacted or improved upon since the 1970s. Here’s a closer look at some of these improvements and how water becomes safe for drinking.

The History of Public Water Systems

The nation’s first water system came about in the 1770s. Hans Christopher Christiansen helped change the history of water systems by creating a public water system in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

By the end of the 1700s, Providence, Rhode Island, and New York City joined the list. Rhode Island brought in water deliveries from private companies. New York City had used private wells, but those polluted wells lost favor and created the Manhattan Company for public water. It would take until 1842 that NYC started tapping into the Croton River for water supplies.

As the years passed, it became clear that water was a leading reason for the spread of disease. By the end of the 1800s, cities were using sand filters or chemicals to clean water. The first drinking water standards came out in 1914. The Service Drinking Water Standards set limits on the number of bacteria allowed in water supplies. Within a year, chlorine was being used to disinfect water.

With the change to water quality, diseases linked to drinking water sharply declined. WWII came and brought about the use of organic chemicals that were making it into water sources. The Safe Drinking Water Act passed in 1974 and required that public water sources be tested to ensure contaminants fell below the levels required by the EPA.

Steps Taken to Bring Clean Water to Homes

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires water to be tested regularly. Water tests look for more than 90 items. If the contaminants are not lower than the EPA or state’s minimum standards, the water system fails and the public is told to stop using the water until the problem is found and resolved. Those tests look for things like:

  • Bacteria – E-coli, fecal coliform, and legionella are a few that are tested.
  • Disinfection chemicals – Examples are bromate (may cause cancer) or chlorite (increases the risk of anemia)
  • Inorganic chemicals – Many are checked and include things like arsenic, cyanide, and lead
  • Organic chemicals – Examples are Benzene (may cause anemia) and PCBs (increases the risk of cancer)
  • Radionuclides – Cancer-causing materials like uranium

Multiple steps are taken to bring clean water to a home or business. It starts with the water source. That water source could be a reservoir, river, lake, or pond. Water is drawn from the water source to the water treatment plant. Screw pumps control the rate at which water enters a water treatment plant. Once the water is at the plant, several steps take place.

#1 – Screening

Screening is a process where larger items like leaves, trash, sticks, etc. are filtered and removed using a screen rake. Those items can then be composted or sent to a landfill. It’s an important step as larger items could damage equipment if it’s not screened and removed.

#2 – Clarification/Flocculation

Clarification systems continue the filtration process to bring you to clean water. Sludge falls to the bottom of the tank where a scraper pushes it to the sludge sump where it can be pumped out.

For solids that float the surface, such as oils, skimmers at the surface of the water take care of those. Chemical additives act as a binder to get these materials to clump together in a process known as flocculation. Flocculation paddles mix the chemicals with the water to ensure it’s mixed well.

#3 – Disinfection

Disinfection is the final step. For any bacteria or microorganisms that survived the other steps, chemicals like chlorine are added to kill them off. UV lighting and reverse osmosis systems can also help disinfect the water. From there, it goes into storage tanks or to homes and businesses.

Choosing the Right Water Treatment System Requires Experience

Lakeside Equipment started helping cities and towns create water purification systems back in 1928, long before the government passed the Safe Water Drinking Act. That’s a long history in the business of water treatment system design and installation.

Today, Lakeside Equipment assists with the design, installation, and repairs of water treatment systems in North America. The single goal of providing clean, safe water has never changed. Call us at 630-837-5640 to discuss your water treatment project.

How To Effectively Remove Grit From Wastewater

What is grit? It’s the particles of sand and silt that end up in wastewater. It could be sand and gravel that’s spread to give traction on icy roads. It could be the dirt and sand you wash off your hands after doing some gardening or yard work. It can be coffee grounds, foods that go through a garbage disposal, or seeds.

When grit gets into wastewater treatment equipment, it’s destructive. It can wear down the mechanical components. It can lead to partial blockages that affect the water flow to digester tanks. Grit can end up costing a company too much money in repairs, replacements, and slowed processing.

How do you get rid of grit in the wastewater you’re processing. A grit removal system is ideal. You need one that works effectively and is designed to last.

How Grit Removal Works

As wastewater enters a water treatment plant, screens catch larger materials like sticks, trash, and plastics. The screens get finer as the wastewater flows through the plant, but sand and silt keep passing through.

There are different types of grit removal systems. To find the right system, you have to look at the type of grit you frequently process. Your options are:

  • Aerated Grit Chamber – Wastewater is forced to flow in a spiral rotation and particles that are heavier than the water sink to a bottom tank.
  • Detrius Tank – This is a square tank where a mechanical rake continually scrapes grit from the bottom of the tank and drags it to an auger where it is removed.
  • Horizontal Flow – A horizontal flow grit chamber is one of the first types of grit removal systems. As the water flows horizontally, the grit settles to the bottom of the channel where it is scraped away or lifted out using conveyors or a bucket elevator system.
  • Hydrocyclone – Water is forced into a cyclone that forces the grit along the sides and bottom of the chamber.
  • Vortex-Type Grit Chamber – Wastewater flows through a cylindrical tank creating a vortex. Gravity forces heavier grit to the bottom of the tank where it is pumped out.

There are pros and cons to each system. Aerated grit chambers allow for differing flow rates. You can also start adding chemicals to them.

Horizontal flow grit chambers allow you to adjust the flow. Hydrocyclone systems can remove solids and grit at the same time.

Vortex-type grit chambers are better at removing fine grit. They don’t have parts or bearings that sit below the level of the water, so they last longer and need less maintenance. The systems are also smaller and take up less space. Similarly, detritus tanks also have all mechanical components above the water.

With any of these systems, if the raking system is not mechanical, you’ll spend more time keeping them clean. Aerated grit chambers can be smellier. Plus, they often take more power to operate.

Detrius tanks do not allow you to control the water flow. If you install this in a shallow area, you may find grit gets through more often. Horizontal flow grit chambers also can be difficult to control the flow rate. Bearings and other equipment are underwater and can wear out more quickly.

Vortex-type systems with paddles may end up with debris caught on the paddles if anything gets through wastewater screening. Grit pumps can also clog frequently. They also need more space because they are deep.

What Types of System Do You Need?

When deciding which grit collection system is best for your needs, carefully weigh the amount of space you have, how fast the water flows, and how much grit you typically have in the wastewater. Lakeside Equipment sells several systems.

Aeroductor Grit Removal System – Grit is washed and collected at the bottom of the chamber where it is then pumped out. There are no underwater parts, which helps prevent excessive maintenance. It’s also meant to last thanks to the stainless steel construction.

Grit Classifier – The Grit Classifier is paired with the Aeroductor or SpiraGrit. It processes the grit that leaves the grit removal system and sends any overflow back to the water treatment system.

H-PAC – The H-PAC system pairs with wastewater screening systems and the vortex-type grit chamber to create a system that screens the wastewater and removes grit for less money at high flow rates. It takes less space and is affordable.

In-Line Grit Collector – This is an affordable system that’s all-in-one. It has the chamber where grit settles after it’s been aerated. A grit screw removes the grit.

Raptor Grit Washer – Using vortex forces and gravity, grit is collected and washed. It can work with several flow rates, and usually removes around 90% of the grit that enters the system. The system is smaller and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

SpiraGrit Vortex Grit Removal – If you have varying flows and need as much grit removed as possible, the SpiraGrit is a good choice. Its stainless steel design resists corrosion, and there are no underwater bearings to help with maintenance costs. It also takes up less space than other systems.

Call Lakeside Equipment to talk about your water treatment plant’s goals. We can help you design a grit removal system that boosts your processing times while providing a system that is designed to maximize grit removal. We can also help with replacement parts and service. Give us a call at 630-837-5640.

How Screening Removes Waste During Water Treatment

When wastewater reaches a water treatment plan from a sewer or truck that transports septic system wastewater, it goes through two main stages. Each stage has several steps. It starts with screening and a trip through the grit chamber and into the sedimentation tank. The second stage involves more filtering, disinfecting, and, possibly, dechlorination.

That’s just wastewater treatment. There are also processes specific to hydropower plants and factories like steel mills or pulp/paper mills. Each one requires water to be treated before it’s returned to the rivers, lakes, and oceans nearby. Each one involves screening to remove debris that could damage the pumps and other treatment equipment.

Screening is a critical first step. There are items in wastewater that can create blockages and damage water treatment equipment. Items like tampon applicators, diaper liners, sanitary pads, baby wipes, and condoms are not meant to be flushed. People do it anyway.

In a hydroelectric plant, a storm or high winds can send leaves, branches, and entire trees into the waterways. That’s why screening is an important first step in any of these industries.

How Does Screening Work?

As water enters a treatment plant or other facility, it goes through a variety of stainless steel screens. The size of the screening determines what the screen filters. You have wide screening to catch sticks, branches, and items like water bottles, soda cans, and plastic bags. Water is able to flow through, but the debris cannot.

As the size of the screens decreases, it catches smaller particles and items. Finer screen products can capture sludge, grease clumps, and other solids. Screens are paired with rakes that remove the materials from the screens to prevent clogging.

Wastewater enters the first screen and materials are caught on the screening. When the water level is high enough, the trash rake moves over the screen to remove the debris. This keeps water flowing through the screens. After the rake finishes its pass, the debris is moved to a collection bin. The trash rake makes a second pass where the rake is cleaned and readied for the next pass.

Debris is moved from the collection bin on a conveyor where it is washed and moved to a debris container. From the debris container, that debris could go to an incinerator, landfill, or composting area.

What Happens After Screening?

One thing screens cannot capture is the fine sand and grit that finds its way into wastewater. Sand from winter road maintenance, silt from rivers, and other fine materials pass the screens and settle into the bottom of the grit chamber where it can be removed.

At this point, there can still be tiny particles. They are processed in a sedimentation tank where they’ll combine to form solids that are removed through pumps. Sludge from sedimentation tanks may be processed into fertilizer pellets.

By the time the next stage of treatment starts, around 85 percent of the organic materials in wastewater have been removed. To remove the rest, it may be filtered through layers of stone or materials where bacteria consume the organic matter. The other option is to move the water into a tank where the wastewater is aerated and mixed with bacteria that will break down the rest of the matter. The remaining liquid is aerated again and pumped to a new tank where it will be mixed with chlorine to kill off any remaining bacteria.

In most states, it’s required now that the chlorine is removed before the water is returned to bodies of water to prevent harm to the plants and fish. If chlorine is not used to disinfect, ozone or UV lighting are used instead.

The treated water may end up back in watersheds where it is recycled as water that is piped to homes and businesses in nearby towns and cities. Before it can be sent back to homes, it is tested to make sure it is safe for consumption.

How Big or Small Are These Water Treatment Screens?

Lakeside Equipment sells Raptor Screening products. Rotary Strainer Screens are in a cylinder that sits horizontally. The wire openings start at 1/10th of an inch down to 1/100th of an inch for fine screening.

The Fine Screen can capture solids and organic materials in a cylindrical basket. There’s a Rotating Drum Screen that ranges from 1/4th inch to 1/50th inch in size. We also have trash rakes and other water treatment parts and equipment options.

Those are some of the options that can help you remove waste. Talk to our specialists to learn more and come up with the best screening products for your business’s or plant’s needs. Contact us to let us know how we can help.