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Treatment of Waste Brine from a Brackish Reverse Osmosis Plant

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Presentation on theme: "Treatment of Waste Brine from a Brackish Reverse Osmosis Plant"— Presentation transcript:

1 Treatment of Waste Brine from a Brackish Reverse Osmosis Plant
El Paso Water Utilities and Fort Bliss Eastside Brackish Groundwater Desalination Facility Joel C. Rife, P.E., DEE September 16, 2002





6 Brackish Water Treatment Becoming Feasible
Membrane Technologies More Affordable Problem is What to do with the Waste Reject Water Direct Discharge Not An Option Activated Sludge Microbes Have No Interest In TDS Historically Hasn’t Been a Problem with Desalination Plants (Dump in Ocean)

7 Brackish RO Facility Design Criteria
Permeate Flow (Drinking Water to Storage) 18 MGD Evaporation/Concentration Options RO Plant Recovery 90 Percent TDS in Reject 11,000 mg/L Reject Flow 1.8 MGD Deep Well Disposal Option Recovery 85 percent (permitting constraints – max. allowable TDS) TDS in reject 8,000 mg/L Reject flow 3.2 MGD

8 Evaporation Options Full-Scale Evaporation Ponds
Turbo-Mist Evaporator and Pond System TNRCC Pond Liner Requirements - Clay w/permeability <1 x 107 cm/sec - Plastic liner with leak detection

9 Full-Scale Evaporation Ponds
Designed for 5 Consecutive “Critical” Years Storage per TNRCC Requirements 5-Foot Depth 431 Acres Compared Single Pond vs. 4-cell vs. 15-cell Recommendation – 4-cell 60-mil HDPE Liner

10 Turbo-Mist Evaporator and Pond
Proprietary Machine by Slimline Mfg. LTD Nozzles in Ring at End of 100 MPH Wind Pilot Test Found 15-20% Water Evaporated Through Turbo-Mist Units Wind Must Remain Below 10 MPH to Prevent Excessive Drift 3000 Connected HP

11 Cost Comparison Evaporation Options
Full-Scale Evaporation Pond Capital Cost $25.42 Million 20-yr Present Worth $44.36 Million Turbo-Mist and Pond Capital Cost $13.8 Million 20-yr Present Worth $56.74 Million

12 Deep Well Disposal Evaluation Criteria Depth Confining Zone
Simplicity of Geological Structure Risk of Inducing Seismicity Injection Zone TDS One-Hour Pressure Buildup Distance Traveled After 30 Years

13 Deep Well Disposal Capital Cost $9.69 Million
20-yr Present Worth $27.69 Million Cost Significantly Less Than Evaporation Regulatory Requirements Are a Concern: Well Classification Delay Until Hydrogeology and Water Chemistry are Characterized Permit (Extensive Public Participation) Authorization by Rule (Less of a Delay)


15 Solar Gradient Ponds Evolved From Conceptual Zero-Discharge RO Plant
Product Water RO Evaporator Concentrator

16 Solar Gradient Ponds Effective for Seawater RO Brine Disposal – 60 Installations World-Wide Thermal Energy Can Be Used For Heating or To Produce Electricity Capital Cost $35.2 Million Cost Comparison per 1000 Gallons Delivered RO With Full-Scale Evaporation $1.95 RO With Deep Well Disposal $1.46 RO With Solar Gradient Ponds $2.04

17 Membrane Concentrator System
Goal: Decrease Reject Volume While Deep Well Permitting Process is Completed Challenge: “Treat the Untreatable” Solution: Pretreatment Prior to Further Concentration by Reverse Osmosis Pretreatment Options Investigated: Lime Softening High-Rate Nanofiltration

18 Lime Softening Pretreatment
Objective is to Reduce Silica and Carbonate Hardness Back to Original Brackish Reject Water Concentrations Use of Magnesium Salts for Silica Removal Common Practice for Boiler Feed Water Lack of Data for Treatment of High Silica Concentrations Jar Testing Required to Prove Out Silica Removal and Determine Dosage Requirements

19 Results of Lime Treatment Jar Testing
Silica and Hardness Removal Goals Achieved with Lime Only Recirculated Lime Floc Critical Further Reductions of Silica with Magnesium Salt Addition Polymer Required to Achieve Acceptable Silt Density Index (<3) Barium Still a Problem – Final RO Recovery of 60% Due to High Barium

20 Lime Softening Pretreatment / RO Process

21 High-Rate NF Softening Option
Suggested by Osmonics Based on Successful Oil Field Experiments Concept is to Remove Cations (Ca, Mg, Fe, Ba) That Act as Nucleating Sites for Silica, While Passing Silica “Slick” Single Pass Membrane is Key to Prevent Silica Buildup On Membrane Successful Bench Scale Experiment Conducted on Simulated Reject

22 X-Ray Analysis of NF Membrane

23 NF Pretreatment / RO Process

24 Summary of Costs

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