Envirogen Technologies Starts Up Uranium and Nitrate Removal System

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Envirogen Technologies

Compact system brings decommissioned well back online

Envirogen Technologies Inc. announced the successful startup of an ion exchange system for the East Valley Water District (EVWD) of San Bernardino County, Calif., to remove uranium and nitrates from groundwater at the District’s #40 well site.

The installation features a 10-year “technology+services” agreement that includes operation and maintenance services along with guarantees of system performance as well as capital and operating costs. The #40 well site had previously been decommissioned, but is now back in service as a result of the performance of the new treatment system. This system marks the third successful installation and technology+services agreement between Envirogen and EVWD, and the first to perform uranium removal. All three systems installed by Envirogen for the District carry this performance guarantee and have been designed to remove multiple contaminants--either perchlorate or uranium in combination with nitrates--from groundwater.

According to Dr. Todd Webster, director, West Region for Envirogen, the company’s established relationship with the District points to the success of Envirogen’s process design capabilities and the technology+services business model.

“Drinking water utilities today are under pressure from tightening regulations, rising costs, impossible budgets and dwindling usable water supplies, especially in the Southern California region. The choices communities make when they address their need for long-term supplies of quality drinking water are critical to quality of life, to economic growth and to fiscal responsibility,” Webster said. “In our relationship with the East Valley Water District, we have been able to bring the right technology to bear on a series of difficult contamination environments and have combined this with a services program that not only gives them reliable water supplies for the long term, but does so at the lowest lifecycle cost, maximizing their investment and helping them deliver a level of fiscal responsibility that the community can be proud of. All of these benefits are guaranteed--in writing.”

The new Envirogen system for EVWD is designed to deliver 2 million gal per day (MGD) of drinking water to a customer base of approximately 65,000 people. It will reduce influent levels of 50 to 60 parts per million (ppm) nitrates and 25 to 30 picocuries per liter (pCi/l) uranium to 35 ppm and less than 15 pCi/l, respectively.

The installation consists of two treatment trains housed on a 50 ft x 50 ft concrete pad at the well site, with uranium removal occurring upstream from nitrate removal. In addition to the guarantee for specified drinking water quality, the Envirogen program also guarantees chemical usage and volume of waste brine generated. Under the agreement, Envirogen provides complete operation and maintenance services on the system, including full responsibility for disposal of waste brine and spent media according to regulatory requirements.

“Envirogen worked in partnership with us from start to finish on this challenging project,” said Ron Buchwald, P.E., district engineer for EVWD. “They don’t just drop off a unit. Their people assisted with site preparation all the way through to documents for permitting, and the system was easy to bring in and connect. Our relationship with Envirogen was essential to fitting this complex system into a very tight site.”

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