Tide on Their Side

April 2, 2018
Nitrification problem avoided with mixing system

Red Valve Co.

700 North Bell Ave. * P.O. Box 548 * Carnegie, PA 15106-0548

Phone 412/279-0044


Most distribution reservoirs have a short-circuiting problem caused by a common inlet/outlet.

This type of design keeps newly added water from mixing with water already in the reservoir. This stratification could lead to diminished water quality, such as loss of disinfectant residual, bacteria regrowth, disinfection byproduct formation, nitrification, biofilm and algae growth, and unpleasant taste or odor.

The Calleguas Municipal Water District, which serves an area of approximately 350 sq miles in southern Ventura County, Calif., wanted to be proactive and avoid a potential nitrification problem in its Newbury Park Reservoir. The reservoir is a 145 ft diameter welded steel tank that holds four million gallons of finished water.

The District turned to Perliter & Ingalsbe Consulting to find a solution. P&I determined that the installation of a custom-designed Tideflex Mixing System manufactured by Red Valve Co., Inc., could help to avoid potential nitrification.

Eliminate expenses

In the typical ground level water storage tank, the common inlet/outlet tank penetration is either horizontally through the shell or vertically through the floor.

Prior to installing the Tideflex Mixing System, the method used to separate the inlet/outlet pipe included a separate pipe around the perimeter of the tank or under the floor. This required two penetrations, the two pipes to be joined in a vault outside the tank, extra fittings, isolation valves, etc. As can be expected, this method involves unnecessary expenses.

Conversely, the Tideflex Mixing System is cost-effective because the system is connected to the tank penetration via a flanged fitting or coupling. A manifold pipe with the system’s inlet valves is laid along the floor on pipe supports to the side opposite the penetration. A set of outlet valves is installed on the side of the tank near the penetration.

Field data has shown that a typical Tideflex Mixing System installation results in increased and more consistent disinfectant residuals throughout the water volume. The typical tank common inlet/outlet pipe is of a diameter that only generates 2-4 fps jet velocity at average fill rates. The Tideflex Mixing System is generally sized for 8-10 fps jet velocity.

In Calleguas’ Newbury Park Reservoir installation, a new 24-in. PVC manifold replaced the common inlet/outlet. The manifold spanned most of the tank and utilized four patented Tideflex inlet valves on the far side and four Tideflex outlet valves near the side wall penetration. This configuration improved mixing and circulation, and optimized the turnover rate and detention time. The duckbill design of the Tideflex check valve had no moving parts and operated solely on the differential pressure already present to drain/fill the tank.

According to Steve Fiori, project manager for the Calleguas Municipal Water District, the system works great and will be considered in the future for other storage tank projects.

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