There is an ever growing demand for water reuse throughout the U.S. as more people make concerted efforts to conserve water. With this development companies like STW Resources are asked to find ways to reuse water. Stanley Weiner is the CEO of STW Resources, which was approached by Midland Hills Golf in Midland, Texas to design a water reclamation system that would allow them to water its greens and other golf course areas more efficiently. Water Technology was able to talk with Weiner about how this process works and its goals.
Water Technology: You recently took on a series of major projects. How did these projects come about and how have they helped you expand your business model beyond oil and gas?
Stanley Weiner: We have been working on cleaning the contaminants out of oil and gas produced water for several years. Our engineering team approaches this task differently than most companies whereas they only care about what is in the water (chemistry of the water) and then they design our systems with different technologies to remove each item that needs to be removed. They are manufacturer agnostic.
As you probably know, most of the municipalities are using outdated technology, but don’t have the monetary resources to upgrade to newer and more cost effective technologies. [We have] approached many of them with a business model that we design, build, own, operate, and finance the systems and charge the municipalities by the gallon. This allows them to upgrade without any upfront costs.
WT: What steps were taken to adapt your technology for water reclamation, delivering reclaimed water to the golf location?
SW: Our engineers actually took off-the-shelf reverse osmosis technology and then modified it with a couple of newer proprietary technologies and a proprietary chemical mixture. These enhancements allow for a lower capital expense required to build the system and also lower operating costs.
WT: Can you please explain what type of concerns the golf course had before? What problems were they looking to solve when they approached you?
SW: There was too much salt, sulfates, iron and silica in the water. It would have damaged the greens so they used city purified water at a high cost. Our system removes all of these items and makes the water similar to rain water.
WT: How safe is this water for reuse? What will the golf course use it for?
SW: The water is the same as typical reverse osmosis quality water and is as clean as any treated water available to many municipalities, except for the fact that the wells supplying the source water were not drilled and completed to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality specifications. It is suitable for human consumption. The golf club is using the water for their greens. It is much less costly than using a municipal water source.
WT: How many gallons of water does the golf course use every day? Is all of it reclaimed water?
SW: They are processing 700,000 gallons per day to water the greens. They have three Santa Rosa Brackish water wells. After the contaminants are removed, the water is the same chemistry as rain water.
WT: How long does this process usually take — designing and implanting the technology? How quickly can results be noticed?
SW: From contract to installation, it took approximately two months to design, approximately three months to build and approximately one month to install. Results start at the first drop of water that is processed. This particular system will process approximately 700,000 gallons per day. We can design them to process any amount of water.
WT: Can you explain the process involving the desalination membrane? Specifically, how does it treat the water making it usable?
SW: Some of the technology involved is proprietary, but basically the system removes all chlorides and other contaminants, such as iron, silica, sulfates, etc. It is basically rain water.
WT: Why do you think this is a major step for water reclamation projects beyond the oil and gas industry?
SW: We are in a severe drought in Texas as well as other parts of the U.S. Fresh water is scarce. Our technology also is less costly to clean up water than other conventional technologies, thus it will allow municipalities access to water for their citizens and golf courses to be maintained. We will also design, build, finance and operate our systems for others, thus making it available to everyone. They can save their bond money for other infrastructure projects that they might need.
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