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Michigan water treatment plant installs hydrous manganese oxide system for radium removal
When U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for radium tightened, some cities found themselves above the allowable limits. The levels in Mason, Mich., fluctuated from below to just slightly above the Maximum Contaminant Level. Since radium was an issue that had never been dealt with by Mason officials, they sent out a public inquiry to find the best system for radium removal. Seven teams presented their ideas and bid on the project.
Layne Christensen Co. was asked to join the Wolverine Eng. team to present options on radium removal treatment technologies. Layne presented approximately six techniques, with hydrous manganese oxide (HMO) being the most effective for removal of radium with the additional benefit of iron removal, which was found at higher levels in at least two of the four wells in Mason. Layne conducted pilot tests at the Ash Street well, and it was determined that the HMO system was the most suitable and cost-efficient option available. Since there were four wells, an engineering evaluation determined that treating at one central location was preferable over treating at each well facility.
The four existing wells and a fifth that was drilled at the time of the treatment plant installation were piped to a central location where Layne installed eight 6 ft-diameter vessels for radium removal using HMO with LayneOx catalytic media. The system’s combined operating capacity is 2.5 million gal per day. Layne fabricated the skid and controls and also provided extensive technical support for startup and program debugging.
Jim Groose is a water treatment specialist, Mike Tracy a senior project engineer and Chris Zeeb a branch manager at Layne Christensen Co. Tracy can be reached at [email protected]. Zeeb can be reached at [email protected] or 517.323.4931.