Three major hurricanes have already hit the United States this year. Being prepared for a hurricane has never been more important, especially for those who run and manage water treatment facilities. Water treatment is essential for removing constituents that can be unpalatable and lead to illnesses and other serious conditions. Houston experienced an outbreak of E. Coli due to water contamination from the impact of hurricane Harvey, which knocked out at least 40 water treatment facilities in the area. Water is essential for our survival so it is of utmost importance that water treatment facilities are prepared to handle and respond to natural disasters, like a hurricane.water
The effects of global warming and climate change are continuously being felt on the earth. In fact, we are expected to experience a 2-5 degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures within the next 30 years. An effect of climate change that often gets overlooked is its impact felt on water treatment processes.
Climate change poses major challenges to the effective treatment of water. Some of these challenges include inundated water supplies that lead to higher levels of contaminants in the water, pressure on the operation of current water infrastructure, and the effect of inclement weather on water systems.
Much of the environmental discussion of the new millennium has been centered on an individual’s carbon footprint. From running the shower to the continuous flow of the faucet as you brush your teeth, we have all heard statistics regarding how much water we use. Similar to our carbon footprint, we can estimate our individual water footprint.
Water quality and purification processes have improved over time, while demand for drinkable water has increased. Today’s membrane treatment plants can be tailored to the overall composition of water to be processed, and the membrane treatment methods used can reduce more possible contaminants. Where the desired outcome is stable, clean water with an appreciable return on the investment, upgrading to a membrane water treatment system is backed by cutting edge industry science.
An important part of operating membrane systems is accurate data collection on a daily basis. The data will help predict normal maintenance schedules and will help determine the cause of any system upsets. Comprehensive data is very useful in determining when the membranes need to be chemically cleaned, or eventually replaced. It also alerts the operator to changes taking place such as fouling, leaking “O” rings etc.
During normal operation of an R/O water treatment system, the membrane elements will often suffer a reduction in performance due to the accumulation of small particles, colloids, microorganisms, or precipitated salts collecting on the membrane surface.