Water Briefs

Nov. 1, 2010


Ventura Foods, the maker of Smart Balance® margarine and Marie's® and Hidden Valley® dressings, has successfully deployed a new system for removing fat, oil and grease (FOG) from wastewater at its Ontario, Calif., manufacturing plant.

Ventura has added a Fogbuster™ device to its existing treatment system for wastewater from the plant's margarine and vegetable oil manufacturing operations. The system is helping the plant comply with local wastewater regulations, recovering waste oil in concentrated form for resale, reducing expenses for treatment chemicals and improving the reliability and performance of the entire treatment system.

"Our challenge was to remain within the city permit limits to discharge wastewater into the sewage system, which kept our wastewater treatment systems operating at maximum capacity," said Tom Rochester, maintenance engineering manager for Ventura's Ontario plant.

The FOG system has eased staff workload by removing the oil upstream in the process, so it doesn't have to be treated chemically. The recovered oil is being sold for recycling into biodiesel and other products. Chemical usage for wastewater treatment at the plant is down about 30%, Rochester said.

"We're projecting a payback on our investment of just over a year, so we're very pleased with," the system, he said

"The recovered oil is key to our return on investment, because if you separate the oil without using chemicals, it more than doubles the resale value for recycling," said John C. Brown, Director of Safety and Environmental Affairs at Ventura Foods. "The Fogbuster is recovering oil of 95% purity and in much greater volume than what we were producing previously."

For more information on the Fogbuster system, visit the company's website at www.fogbustersinc.com.


Dow Water & Process Solutions has announced a new development in the company's reverse osmosis (RO) technology that allows industrial plants to reduce operating costs while maintaining high-quality process water, desalination plants to achieve better rejection from the second pass and system designers to reduce capital and operating expenses.

The new Dow Filmtec ™ HRLE-440i, is a high rejection, low energy element that uses advances in membrane chemistry to deliver 99.5 percent sodium chloride rejection at 150 psi.

"This advance in membrane chemistry allows new RO equipment to be designed around lower pressure membranes, meeting permeate quality with up to 30 percent less energy than conventional brackish water membranes," said Chris Sacksteder, strategic market manager for industrial water at Dow.

In addition to energy efficiency, with 440 square feet of active area, the HRLE-440i membrane allows fewer elements to be used in a system design. This shrinks the overall system footprint, related energy use and operational costs.

The new Dow element is effective in rejection of silica, boron, nitrate and ammonium with performance supported by Dow Water & Process Solutions' modeling software. The element meets ANSI/NSF 61 certification requirements for drinking water system components.

"Improving product performance is a key element of our research and development efforts," said Abhishek Roy, Research Specialist for Dow. "Dow Water & Process Solutions is constantly working to create new options for reverse osmosis that increase both effectiveness and efficiency."

Dow applied an advanced manufacturing process that uses automated fabrication to yield consistent product quality and performance. The company also used patented iLEC™ interconnectors for more reliable installation and minimized o-ring leakage. The new Filmtec HRLE-440i is available as a dry element for improved shelf life and convenience of installation.

Learn more at www.dowwaterandprocess.com.


MWH Constructors has been selected to design and build a multi-million dollar water pretreatment system for The Dannon Co., a leading cultured fresh dairy products company.

To accommodate future growth, Dannon is seeking to increase production at its West Jordan, UT, location, which will pre-treat the plant's wastewater prior to discharge. This new pretreatment system will enable Dannon to significantly increase yogurt production capacity while limiting impact on the community's infrastructure in a sustainable manner.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Dannon on this project that supports its focus of delivering high-quality, wholesome products to customers primarily in the western half of the country," said Joseph D. Adams, president of MWH Constructors.

The primary treatment to manage the wastewater will be a moving bed bioreactor combined with dissolved air flotation. The system comprises the pretreatment facility, odor control facilities, pumping, tanks, treatment and storage and will be designed to meet discharge requirements, while handling a flow of several hundred thousand gallons per day.


Naturally Wallace Consulting (NWC) is teaming with Associated Engineering (AE) to design a major expansion of the existing wetland treatment system at Edmonton International Airport (EIA). EIA has experienced double-digit growth and this deicing treatment project is part of an overall expansion of the airport, which is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

The existing constructed wetland system at EIA has been treating deicing runoff for almost a decade, but with the expansion of the airport, a major increase in overall treatment capacity will be required. The engineered wetland treatment design at EIA includes the installation of Forced Bed Aeration™ technology developed and patented by NWC. The system expansion is designed to produce a five-fold increase in glycol treatment capacity. Design work is underway and the system improvements will be tendered in the fall of 2010.


The market for ultrapure water equipment, services, labor and consumables will grow 32 percent to nearly $4.9 billion by 2015. Coal-fired power plants and electronics manufacturers will be the leading purchasers. This is the latest forecast in the McIlvaine Ultrapure Water World Markets.

The market in Asia will grow from $2.3 billion to $3.3 billion during the period and will account for virtually all the growth in the market. China is installing more coal-fired power plants than the rest of the world combined. India is the second largest purchaser of new coal-fired power plants.

Taiwan, South Korea and China are leading the way in the electronics sector. They are installing more wafer fabrication facilities than the rest of the world. Asia dominates photo voltaic manufacture and accounts for most of the flat panel manufacturing. A large semiconductor plant needs very pure water to wash the chips after each manufacturing step. The majority of the new coal-fired power plants in China use super critical steam pressures and temperatures. This in turn also demands very pure water.

The one industry which still is expanding in Europe and the U.S. is the pharmaceutical industry. Water for injection (the water mixed into injectable drugs) also requires very pure water.

To manufacture ultrapure water it is necessary to use highly efficient reverse osmosis, membrane degasification, ion exchange resins, membrane cartridges, expensive piping, pumps and valves. There is a big demand for more accurate water quality measuring equipment. New optical dissolved oxygen analyzers by In-Situ and others are replacing electrochemical devices.

Many international companies are active in this field. Siemens, GE, Pall, Millipore, Emerson, W.L Gore, Swan, Hach and Mettler Toledo have a worldwide presence.

For more information on Ultrapure Water World Markets, visit the McIlvaine website, www.mcilvainecompany.com.


A gathering of Wyoming business leaders and environmental groups officially opened the new 100-acre Red Desert Water Reclamation center in October. Focused on treating water from the oil and gas industry, this facility will save water and bring a new level of environmental sustainability to Wyoming's oil and gas industry.

With the opening of this multi-million dollar plant, Red Desert has the capacity to treat approximately 20,000 barrels of "produced water" from Wyoming oil and gas drilling daily. Produced water is the term used to describe water that is produced in oil and gas drilling operations.

The 24-hour facility is the first in the country to use Clean Runner's proprietary PetroCleanse processing equipment: a chemical-free, low-cost technology that cleans large quantities of produced water to meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) regulatory standards. The water, which is generally not reused but currently lost through the controversial use of injection wells or deposited into evaporation ponds, can be cleaned inexpensively and without chemicals for reuse in irrigation or subsequent oil and gas projects.

In addition to the Clean Runner PetroCleanse processing equipment, the new facility features computerized inventory equipment, three holding ponds and a presentation/technical training building.

Red Desert Water Reclamation is owned and operated by Cate Street Capital, an investment company that specializes in bringing to commercial operation green technologies and environmentally sustainable development projects.

More details about Red Desert may be found at www.reddesertwater.com.


Parkson has announced the startup of a Thermo-System® Active Solar Sludge Drying System in the town of Noblesville, IN. For this installation, a two solar assisted chamber design with a 145kW supplemental heating system was designed to dry municipal sludge.

The supplemental heating system consists of water-to-air heat exchangers positioned throughout the drying chambers that use excess hot water capacity from an existing plant boiler. This supplemental heat, which would normally be wasted to the atmosphere, will increase the drying performance of the system by at least 50%.

By producing a 75% dry, Class A biosolid, the system will save the plant money on disposal costs as compared with the previous method of landfilling unclassified, wet biosolids directly from a belt press. Additionally, leveraging the sun's free energy will result in dramatic operating costs savings as compare with more traditional thermal dryers.

The Noblesville startup is the first of a series of seven installations that will be commissioned in the next six months alone.

More information on the drying system may be found at www.parkson.com.


The Water Works Board of the City of Birmingham (BWWB) has filed an appeal against the Alabama Surface Mining Commission's (ASMC) issuance of a permit that will allow Shepherd Bend, LLC, to develop a strip mine along the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River. The currently proposed strip mine site will discharge 2,200 feet upstream of the BWWB'S Mulberry Intake, and future phases would bring discharges as close as 800 feet from the intake.

BWWB officials expressed concerns that chemicals discharged into the water source could adversely affect water quality. The BWWB is challenging the permit on the grounds that it does not meet certain state administrative code requirements, as it fails to "include geologic information in sufficient detail to assist in determining all potentially toxic-forming strata."

The appeal states that toxicity testing was not performed on geologic samples to determine if the materials would contribute to toxic runoff, which would negatively affect water quality.

"Upon review of the additional water quality monitoring requested by the BWWB, the ASMC opted to monitor for an additional 14 parameters," says Darryl Jones, BWWB assistant general manager of operations and technical services. "This gives us reason to believe that they recognize the mine could be discharging a substantial number of potentially dangerous chemicals into our water source."

BWWB engineers and attorneys also charge that while the mine facility does include sedimentation ponds for water treatment, the size, shape and design of the ponds do not meet the design of the guidance of the Alabama Handbook for Erosion Control, Sediment Control and Stormwater Management on Construction Sites and Urban Areas and, therefore, does not represent the best technology currently available. In addition, the BWWB maintains that the permit does not demonstrate that the sedimentation ponds will be maintained, nor that the ponds will be suitable for their intended use on a permanent basis, as required by state administrative codes.

"We simply do not feel that these sedimentation ponds are optimal," says Jones.


Tyco Flow Control, a unit of Tyco International, has acquired the assets of Supavac Pty Limited and Supavac Chile SA ("Supavac"), a manufacturer of air driven slurry management systems. The acquisition supplements Tyco Flow Control's breadth of products and services in major industries, adding a unique technology to the company's portfolio.

Supavac develops a comprehensive range of vacuum loading solids pumps, unique air transfer concepts and slurry dewatering systems. The company has designed a patented technology that can pump both wet and dry solids -- a capability few global pump manufacturers possess.

Supavac's products are used for a variety of applications in the oil and gas, industrial manufacturing, mining, water and commercial construction industries. Its customers include some of the world's largest oil and mining companies. Most recently, their equipment was used in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill clean-up efforts.


Global Water Technologies has completed an initial funding transaction to begin research on new methods of ballast water treatment.

"Ballast water treatment and new regulations to control the invasive species that are unintentionally transported by international shipping are important issues for the next decade," said Erik Hromadka, chairman and CEO of Global Water Technologies. "As a small technology company, we can move quickly to identify new solutions and are currently investigating options being developed in Australia and Canada."

Ballast water treatment is of particular concern to state and provincial economies of the Great Lakes, where strict new regulations in 2012 may impact the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Stratton Holdings Inc. made an initial investment in Global Water to support the research and development of new technologies for ballast water treatment and will also provide professional services from its headquarters in San Jose, Calif.

"Global Water Technologies is a good fit for our strategy to identify and invest in small public companies that have demonstrated potential for significant growth," said Eric Stratton Racheff, CEO of Stratton Holdings Inc.

Additional information is available on the company's web site at: www.gwtr.com.

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