May 03, 2017

Immediacy in Emergencies

Bob Crossen

When I last ordered a product online (in this case, a GPS unit for my bike), I hesitated at the shipping screen. I weighed the pros and cons of paying more money to get my item faster versus saving that cash and patiently waiting for it to arrive.

Ultimately, I paid to receive the item faster, knowing I would obsessively check tracking information and ruin my productivity. Such are the times that immediate gratification has become a way of life. But, sometimes immediacy is a necessity (and not a failing of the virtue of patience), however, and in the industrial water and wastewater industry, emergencies happen.

As noted in “Resolving Industrial Wastewater Woes” on page 14, natural disasters like flooding and other high-water events can throw off a wastewater system. Such was the case in British Columbia, Canada, where a gold mine shut down due to high water, and deployment of a mobile membrane unit was used to remove contaminated water and protect local waters during construction. “They can be operational in a matter of hours and they are capable of producing water as soon as they are online,” wrote Ron Thomas, industrial sales manager for Pall Water. A similar mobile membrane unit was used at a European power plant to keep up with regulations changing at a rapid pace. The system arrived in February and by April, start-up had been completed.

These mobile systems also have been used to treat coal ash ponds by combining ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis to address total dissolved solids or with mobile biological treatment systems for metals removal. Rich Marchant of MPW Industrial Services lays out common ways to treat and close coal ash ponds in the article “Pondering Remediation” on page 16, and includes the benefits and drawbacks of different technologies for coal ash pond applications.

Meanwhile, Cambrian Innovation found many companies prefer to outsource their wastewater treatment. “The Water-Energy Purchase Agreement” on page 18 describes how Cambrian Innovation developed agreements to own and operate the wastewater process for Lagunitas Brewing Co. breweries in California, which will speed up the breweries’ old process of trucking 50,000 gal of wastewater to a municipal treatment plant 50 miles away.

Whatever the application, companies seem interested in coming to sites ready to install a solution. We want to hear from you about these methods. Have you used a mobile membrane unit to solve an onsite issue and, if so, how did it perform? Let us know by emailing [email protected] or sending us a message on Facebook or Twitter.

About the author

Bob Crossen, Managing Editor, [email protected]

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