For our last issue of 2019, Water Technology decided to take a look into the wastewater treatment processes within the power generation industry, and how some technologies are optimizing treatment and reducing wear on some hydroelectric components.
An issue power generation facilities experience is fats, oils and grease (FOG). Oil Skimmers Inc.’s Guy Flynn discusses ways in which these substances can find their way into different types of water within a power generation facility. Sorbents, vacuum trucks and oil skimmers are all ways facilities can remove oil from water after the separation process. When it comes to choosing the best method for skimming oil, vertical lift, fluctuating water levels and potential debris need to be considered.
The next article in our power generation cover series comes from Eaton’s Ulrich Latz. This case study explains the issues a hydroelectric power plant had regarding wear on its control valves. Suspended solids from glacial abrasion were transported by glacial runoff into the reservoir and collected with other suspended matter brought in by rainfall. The solids caused issues when they came into contact with the facility’s turbines and slide valves. The solution was installing modified automatic basket strainers that were capable of pressures of up to 1,160 psi.
Brine is a product of several industrial processes like RO desalination. Brine can sometimes contain organic contaminants, which can require additional treatment technologies. Tomer Efrat of IDE Technologies dives into the issues surrounding the treatment of industrial wastewater and brackish water in his article. A system that combines RO with a salt precipitation unit can reduce the potential for scaling and treat high sulfate levels to meet discharge regulations.
Next, HRS Heat Exchangers’ Matt Hale discusses the importance of fouling in heat exchangers. Fouling can result in unreliable heat transfer, which can cause adverse performance and economic effects. Fouling can result in a flow rate reduction or even total blockage. Hale explores the four major types of fouling and ways to remove them. He points out that prevention is better than cure, and explains methods facilities can use to prevent fouling.
Udi Lesham of AquaHD presents a case study in which a hydrodynamic separator was installed at an agricultural facility that faced high-turbidity water that clogged irrigation pipes and reacted with fertilizers. The separator was installed to treat river water for particle removal at the inlet of the irrigation system.
In his column, Joseph Cotruvo explains Legionella bacteria — the cause of legionellosis and Pontiac fever — can be found in many industries, including in municipal, petrochemical, paper mills, breweries and food and dairy. He attributes the rise in legionellosis and Pontiac fever partly to an emphasis on specific diagnoses, and provides some worker safety solutions for water facilities.
In September, I traveled to Chicago as a first-time attendee of WEFTEC. I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with a few companies that have developed interesting technology to better the treatment and reuse of industrial wastewater. In this issue, I dive into some of these innovative technologies.