The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Finance Center, in collaboration with the ...
A hybrid iron-based absorption resin helps Arizona community remove arsenic while protecting the environment
A sustainable business is an enterprise that has no negative impact on the global or local environment, community, society or economy. The business must incorporate the three basic principles of sustainability in its business decisions: money, people and the environment.
Sahuarita Water Co. LLC (SWC) is a sustainable business, ensuring that its system operations fully address all current and potential environmental concerns while maintaining a profit and a positive balance sheet. SWC is located approximately 20 miles south of Tucson, Ariz. The water company is a privately owned water utility covering a 4.7-sq-mile area and providing water to more than 12,000 residents living in more than 4,700 homes. It also supplies water to three campuses of the Sahuarita Unified School District and several commercial properties.
“The ease of operation of a LayneRT adsorption system as a simple filter, as opposed to the complex backwashing needs of [the other] system matched the minimum staff impact philosophy [SWC] had adopted for the arsenic treatment system,” said SWC President Mark Seamans.
To be a sustainable business, the first items that needed to be considered in the evaluation process were the capital and operational costs of the system and the potential liability down the line in regard to arsenic-laden wastes. SWC decided to be proactive and selected a technology that minimized the liability associated with arsenic-laden wastes. Using a regenerable resin, the waste is generated off site by Layne Christensen and disposed of in a hazardous landfill even though the waste currently passes all the state and federal requirements for disposal at a standard landfill.
Not only does this approach reduce the operational cost of the system while eliminating the potential legal battle should the regulations change, but it also incorporates an honest concern for the well‐being of the environment and the future of the people in the community. Layne Water Technologies guaranteed 59,715 BVs through the lead vessels after the system was scaled up, and those vessels were taken offline for regeneration at the beginning of August.
When the vessels were taken offline at 8 ppb of effluent arsenic, they had treated 66,082 BVs. Because SWC is locked into a regeneration rate that includes loading, unloading, regeneration and transportation, the extra BVs achieved are extra money in its pocket. The regeneration takes place at the new 60,000-sq‐ft Layne Water Technologies NSF‐certified regeneration facility in Phoenix.
Maintaining a water system with sustainability in mind is a difficult task when treating for any constituent. In SWC’s case, the constituent was arsenic and the technology selected was LayneRT based on money, potential liability, a secured quality of life for the people in the community and a general concern for the environment. This is why SWC is a sustainable company striving to meet the triple bottom line.
Michael R. Boyd is a technical sales engineer at Layne Water Technologies. Boyd can be reached at [email protected] or 602.345.8600.