Nestled in a valley between the Pukalani Country Club’s golf course and a surrounding residential community in Maui, Hawaii, is the Pukalani MBR Water Reuse Facility, a state-of-the-art membrane bioreactor system (MBR) producing R-1 water reused to irrigate the golf course.
Prior to its startup in October 2010, the Pukalani STP was in a state of serious disrepair. The concentric circular steel tank was in such poor condition that the design and construction of the MBR was fast-tracked to ensure treatment was not interrupted.
The hospitality industry has made great strides in managing water consumption and finding new ways to reduce operating costs and shrink its members’ environmental footprints. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that approximately 15% of the total water use in commercial and institutional facilities in the U.S. takes place in hotels and other lodging businesses. As the industry continues to advance the agenda of sustainability with a greater focus on water and wastewater stewardship, it is producing viable solutions to help manage wastewater goals and challenges.
In late summer 2011, the Navarro County Safety Rest Area, located on Texas Interstate 45, commissioned the Ovivo MPAC membrane bioreactor (MBR), providing onsite treatment for the generated wastewater of this heavily trafficked portion of Texas Highway.
In 2010, the city of La Center, Wash., retrofitted its sequencing batch reactor (SBR) with a membrane bioreactor (MBR), using as much of the existing tankage, equipment, buildings and other onsite systems as possible. Since then, the MBR has cost the city approximately 15% less than the SBR in terms of its total operating expenditures (OPEX), even though the flow to the plant increased by 15%.
In 1997, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a five-year Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD). The determination required New York City to acquire environmentally sensitive land in the New York City watershed, adopt strong watershed rules and regulations and institute and maintain a comprehensive watershed protection program.
In Canton, Ohio, a few weeks after ringing in 2014, four contractors submitted bids to update an aging extended aeration wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Based on bid numbers, it will cost about $80 million to upgrade the 42-million-gal-per-day (mgd) plant to a membrane bioreactor (MBR), or less than $2 per gallon of water treated.
Membrane Bioreactors (MBR) may have a reputation for being costly, but they do not have to be.
A survey of 137 MBRs in the U.S. showed that an Enviroquip MBR using flat plate technology is typically half to three-quarters the CAPEX cost of other MBR suppliers. CAPEX is certainly important, but what about OPEX?
While there is a tremendous amount of data publicly available on energy and chemical consumption of MBR systems, there is little to no data published on labor requirements of these systems.
The environmental health conditions of Puget Sound and Hood Canal in Washington state are being impacted negatively by regional development pressures. Negative impacts encountered in sound and canal waters include low dissolved oxygen levels, shellfish bed closures, presence of toxic waste sites and increased storm water runoff from paved surfaces.