Jun 07, 2012

Russian Utility to Employ GE Ultrafiltration Technology

Aiming to reduce usage of freshwater supplies in industrial city

With water conservation remaining a key goal of efforts to modernize Russia’s water supply infrastructure, GE announced the Ekaterinburg Municipal Unitary Enterprise Vodokanal utility has selected GE’s ZeeWeed* 500D ultrafiltration membrane technology to boost the water recovery capacity of its existing water treatment plant.

The administrative center of the Urals region, Ekaterinburg is Russia’s fourth-largest city with a population of 1.4 million. GE’s ultrafiltration membrane system will allow the Vodokanal treatment plant to recover 55,000 cu meters per day of water, an equivalent of more than 950 Olympic-sized hockey rinks, for reuse to backwash the conventional filters in the facility. The new ZeeWeed system will begin commercial operation next year.

Adequate supplies of clean water are critical for Ekaterinburg, a major Russian industrial center that is home to extensive manufacturing operations that serve the defense, instrument-making, metallurgy, printing, opto-mechanical products and food sectors. The city also is a transport and logistics hub for the Trans-Siberian Railway.

In March 2012, a published news story underscored the importance of investing in water treatment by reporting that Russia’s housing sector had overtaken the country’s agricultural, chemical and other industrial sectors as the main source of water pollution, according to the director of water at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“Water is a critical resource, and our strategy is to use proven and reliable technologies to conserve and reuse as much of it as possible,” said Vadim Kuznetsov, technical director of Ekaterinburg Municipal Unitary Enterprise Vodokanal. “GE has a long history in Russia as a supplier of reliable and efficient equipment, and its advanced water filtration technology will help us do that.”

“GE’s focus is to provide customers with the tools they need to address their most important challenges,” said Chris Jeffery, regional director CEE & Russia/CIS, water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. ”This important project will minimize the treatment plant’s environmental impacts by reducing both its dependence on freshwater supplies as well as water discharges.”

Ultrafiltration is the use of a pressure-driven barrier to the suspended solids, bacteria, viruses, endotoxins and other pathogens in water to produce treated water with very high purity and low silt density. It serves as a pretreatment for surface water, seawater and biologically treated municipal effluent before reverse osmosis and other membrane water-treatment systems. Ultrafiltration also is used in industry to separate suspended solids from solution.

The project announcement was made during ECWATECH 2012, an international water and wastewater technology trade conference that is being held at the IEC Crocus Congress Centre in Moscow June 5-8, 2012.