What is the Best Water Treatment System?

As the world grapples with the continually increasing water shortage, governments, non-governmental organizations, industries, and private organizations are rigorously exploring the feasibility of water treatment. Considering climate change, ballooning of arid areas and growing demographics, approximately 50% of the human population will be living in water-deprived regions. Presently, the WHO statistics indicate that over 2 billion people consume contaminated water while over 785 million have no access to fresh potable water.

The inadequacy of freshwater supply has also driven industries and commercial enterprises into seeking alternative sources. Despite half of the earth’s surface harboring more water than land, there is still acute water scarcity. Shockingly, approximately 2.5% of the water is fresh, clean, and fit for consumption. However, roughly 1.5% is merely accessible to the human and animal population. This is because the majority of the earth’s freshwater is constrained in ice caps, deep underground wells, and glaciers.

Current and preceding civilizations have commonly turned into groundwater, seawater, and brackish water treatment as a remedy to water scarcity. Seawater desalination is presently widely utilized given that ocean water harbors over 97% of the earth’s water. Close to 50% of the global desalination systems are located in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Contemporary water treatment technology has made it possible to improve the quality of virtually any form of feed water. Advanced water treatment processes and machinery offer hope to populations and industries based in arid, semi-arid, or coastal regions. With impeccable water purification rates (up to 99.9%), water treatment plants are probably the much-needed remedy to freshwater scarcity.

Figure 1 Water treatment system.

What is a Water Treatment System?

Water treatment systems are simply equipment utilized to improve water quality by eliminating or shrinking the concentration of pollutants in raw water. Water treatment systems have over time undergone a complete metamorphosis to give birth to contemporary water treatment systems. Water treatment dates back to the ancient Egyptian and Greek medieval times.

At present, scientists and manufacturers of water treatment equipment have developed over 20 water treatment technologies. It is safe to say that presently, the world is more prepared to combat freshwater scarcity compared to past generations. The existing water treatment technologies facilitate the reuse or recycling of wastewater in addition to converting saline and contaminated water into fresh product water.

Types of Water Treatment Systems.

We are living in times endowed with distinct and advanced water treatment technologies and machinery. The growth of industrialization has further aided the evolution of water treatment processes and equipment. Primarily, water treatment systems are categorized based on their innate water treatment process, specialization, dimension, and feed water treated. Underneath, we discuss the varying classifications of water treatment units and their roles in resolving water scarceness.

Seawater desalination systems.

Seawater desalination processes and machinery have gradually advanced over the years. At present, it is estimated there are over 22,000 seawater desalination plants spread out across the globe. The Middle East (particularly Saudi Arabia and UAE) are the chief users of seawater desalination facilities. This is explained by the scarcity of freshwater reservoirs in arid and semi-arid regions and their proximity to the sea.

Prevalent seawater desalination technologies include distillation processes and reverse osmosis. Due to the high TDS concentrations of seawater (an average of 35,000ppm), seawater desalination plants are often equipped with high TDS tolerance (often 45,000ppm) and upgrades of up to 55,000ppm.

Essentially, seawater desalination systems lessen the TDS levels of ocean water(to below 1000ppm) by eradicating dissolved salts, microorganisms, microplastics, minerals, colloids, organic chemicals, and metals from seawater. The following are commonly used seawater desalination systems:

  • Reverse osmosis seawater desalination plants.
  • Boat desalination machines.
  • Multi-effect desalination systems.
  • Multi-stage flash desalination units.
  • Mechanical vapor compression systems.

Figure 2 Seawater reverse osmosis desalination system.

Wastewater treatment systems.

Wastewater treatment plants are principally utilized to preserve the environment by eradicating harmful pollutants, reducing TSS, BOD, and discharge volumes before discharging or reusing the effluent from industries, homes, and commercial entities. The treatment of wastewater is habitually undertaken in two phases, the primary phase, which aims to eject at least 60% of the present contaminants (suspended solids), and the secondary phase.

The secondary treatment seeks to eradicate over 90% of the impurities and adds oxygen to the water. Wastewater treatment plants can treat wastewater from homes, industries, and business premises. They utilize various treatment technologies including microfiltration and ultrafiltration processes. The distinct types of wastewater treatment systems are:

  • Sewage treatment systems.
  • Industrial wastewater treatment systems.
  • Leachate treatment systems.
  • Agricultural wastewater treatment systems.

Figure 3 Wastewater treatment system.

Brackish water desalination systems.

Brackish water is simply water with slight salinity concentrations, approximately over 1000ppm to 10,000ppm. The predominant brackish water treatment system is reverse osmosis. However, distillation processes such as vapor compression, MED, and MSF are also effective treatment solutions for brackish water.

Reverse osmosis systems meant for desalinating brackish water are considered economical since they do not consume much power. This is greatly depicted when their power consumption rate is compared to seawater desalination systems.

RO brackish water desalination plants also necessitate less pressure (approximately 200psi) in comparison to seawater desalination plants. They are universally utilized in pharmaceuticals, hotels, households, industries, and water bottling.

Figure 4 Brackish water desalination plant.

Well water treatment systems.

Well water treatment systems are simply water filtration machines used to eradicate water hardness, volatile metals, microorganisms, and dissolved solids from groundwater. There has been a recent upsurge in the number of people reliant on well water. In the USA, approximately 13 million homesteads depend on groundwater while the global groundwater dependency score is roughly 50%.

The principal water treatment technology used to remove water hardness from well water is ion exchange. Nanofiltration, ultrafiltration, and reverse osmosis are also utilized to shrink TDS and COD levels from groundwater. Ultraviolet light is deployed to eradicate up to 99.9% of the viruses, bacteria, and other protozoans found in well water.

Containerized and skid-mounted water treatment systems.

Water treatment systems are often assembled on standard 20ft and 40ft containers to ease transportation, operation and enhance compatibility. Containerized water treatment systems are often plug-and-play equipment that demands less installation input. Common containerized water treatment systems include reverse osmosis systems for seawater, brackish water, and wastewater treatment.

Skid-mounted systems, on the other hand, involve the mounting of key water treatment components onto metal frames or rails. Skid-mounted plants offer security to your system and also mitigates damage resulting from vibrations caused by high-pressure pumps. At NEWater, containerized and skid-mounted water treatment systems are mainly manufactured on an order basis.

Figure 5 Containerized water treatment system.

How do Water Treatment Systems Function?

The advancement in water treatment processes through the years has massively elevated the effectiveness and efficiency of water treatment systems. Different feed waters and their respective water treatment plants necessitate different water treatment processes. Typically, distinct water treatment technologies have unique specifications that permit them to eradicate specific contaminants from raw water.

Underneath, we explore the diverse water treatment processes and their overriding working principles.

Coagulation.

This is also referred to as flocculation and it pertains to the addition of a polymer and aluminum sulfate (in liquid form) into feed water. This prompts the coagulation of smaller particles present in water. Ultimately, the coagulated particles further attach to form flocs that are easily alienated by filtration or sedimentation.

Figure 6 Coagulation process.

Reverse osmosis.

Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective water treatment solutions with a maximum impurity rejection rate of 99.7%. It is predominantly used in seawater and brackish water desalination systems because of its exemplary salt rejection rates. Using high-pressure pumps, feed water is forcefully injected into RO membranes thereby reversing the ordinary osmotic flow.

First, the feed water is pretreated using sediment or carbon filters, which eradicate large constituents capable of fouling the semi-permeable membranes. Subsequently, the water is passed through the perforated membranes under force thereby causing the alienation of impurities from freshwater.

The end products of a reverse osmosis process are brine and permeate. The water collected is then subjected to post-treatment for remineralization and pH adjustment.

Ultrafiltration.

Ultrafiltration treats water by adhering to the basic principles of reverse osmosis, the use of pressure to force water through a series of perforated membranes. Typical ultrafiltration membrane pores measure approximately 0.1 to 0.001 microns making ultrafiltration systems extremely effective in eliminating macromolecules such as arsenic and particulates.

Owing to their high pollutant rejection rates, ultrafiltration systems are preferred water treatment systems for wastewater, water softening, RO pretreatment, groundwater treatment, and recycling of industrial water.

Figure 7 Water treatment using ultrafiltration.

Nanofiltration.

The process of Nanofiltration is principled upon the application of pressure to force-feed water through a semipermeable membrane with nanometer-sized pores (roughly 0.001microns). Water softener systems utilize Nanofiltration to eradicate calcium and magnesium ions, which are largely responsible for water hardness.

Common applications of Nanofiltration systems include purification of water for industrial use, water softening, treatment of product water for food and beverages, wastewater treatment, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Distillation.

Figure 8 Working principle of distillation.

The use of distillation in water treatment dates back to 200 AD. Distillation is technically an unsophisticated process that relies on heat to initiate the evaporation of water. Water distillation systems take advantage of water’s low boiling point compared to contaminants like salts. Freshwater is converted to vapor, condensed, and ultimately preserved in tanks as clean potable water while the pollutants are ejected as concentrate. The prominent distillation processes utilized in water treatment are:

  • Vapor compression.
  • Multi-effect distillation.
  • Multi-stage flash distillation.

What Constitutes a Water Treatment System?

Well, a water treatment system is technically an assembly of numerous components interconnected to form a complex structure. The components of water treatment units are intelligently and uniquely designed to perform varying roles and complement each other.  For smooth operation, familiarizing yourself with the varying components that make up your water treatment system is vital.

Components of a reverse osmosis system.

Reverse osmosis systems are widely utilized in diverse water treatment applications ranging from seawater desalination to tap water treatment for households. They are largely productive because of the high-quality components deployed in them to perform specific roles.

High-pressure pump.

Diesel or electricity-powered pressure pumps are essential components of reverse osmosis systems. They are mandated with supplying sufficient pressure to revert the normal osmotic flow when forcing feed water through the semi-permeable membranes.

Pre-treatment unit.

The pre-treatment unit in RO systems contains pre-filters and often a chemical dosing system. The role of the pretreatment unit is to filter out relatively large constituents and treat the pH levels of feed water. Ultimately, Pretreatment units help preserve the RO membranes and mitigate fouling of the RO equipment.

Semi-permeable membranes.

Membranes with perforations measuring 0.0001 microns are employed in RO systems to eject dissolved solids, microorganisms, undesired chemicals, minerals, metals, and protozoa from the feed water. They vary in number and diameter depending on the water treatment system’s capacity and quality of potable water anticipated.

Control interface.

This is simply the user interface from where you operate your reverse osmosis system. The user interface is often made of solid-state microprocessors and advanced PLCs. They are ideally designed to offer convenience and ease the operation of the system.

Membrane cleaning system.

For continued optimum water treatment, reverse osmosis systems are fitted with a membrane cleaning system responsible for unclogging and descaling the membranes. More information on membrane cleaning units is available on https://www.newater.com.

Figure 9 Membrane cleaning skid.

The Technological Advancements in Water Treatment Systems.

Over the years, water treatment systems and processes have undergone various technological advancements resulting in higher efficiencies and production rates. Manufacturers of water treatment plants have incorporated varying technologies into their systems. Moreover, scientists have as well revolutionized membrane-based treatment processes.

A cutting-edge innovation recently adopted by NEWater is the use of energy recovery devices on reverse osmosis systems. Our reverse osmosis systems are equipped with  HTC-300 energy recovery units harboring a hydraulic turbine configuration. This allows the energy recovery device to utilize pressure from the RO system’s discharge to escalate the feed water (inlet) pressure by at least 30%. Consequently, this makes the treatment process energy-efficient and ultimately lowers the operational cost.

The Cost of Water Treatment Systems.

Water treatment systems have varying prices, which is a reflection of their distinct specifications. Primarily, the total cost of a water treatment plant entails the purchasing price of the equipment, installation expenses, power consumption, repairs and replacements, depreciation value, and labor charges.

Due to the unstable nature of the above-mentioned variables, estimation of the costs of water treatment systems is relatively difficult. Underneath, we use a 10,000 ton/day reverse osmosis system located in China as a case study.

Power consumption.

The energy consumption of contemporary RO seawater desalination systems is typically 2.25 yuan/ton. However, power consumption rates vary considerably based on the country’s power supply options, the feed water’s salinity, the flow rate, and the plant’s capacity.

System maintenance and consumables.

The costs of undertaking the necessary repairs and procuring appropriate consumables such as chemicals are 0.04 and 0.05 yuan/ton respectively. Expenses on management are approximately 0.1 yuan per ton while the cost of membrane replacement is 0.05 yuan per ton of water.

Labor.

The operation of a water treatment system necessitates water human input, which comes at a cost. For the RO desalination system, the accrued wages were approximately 0.2 yuan per ton of water. It is worth noting that employee wages and salaries are subject to prevailing economic conditions and government regulation.

Depreciation value.

Just like all assets with a monetary value, water treatment systems are prone to depreciation. The depreciation value of the aforementioned system was projected to be 0.12 yuan per ton of water. This proves that water treatment systems are worthy investments with quick returns on investment.

Attributes of a Good Water Treatment System.

Not all water treatments systems available on the market tick all the boxes for high-quality water treatment systems. Underneath, we summarize a few of the characteristics synonymous with exemplary water treatment systems.

Figure 10 Skid-mounted water treatment system.

Diverse power supply options.

Often, different regions have different power frequency and voltage options. Therein, your preferred water treatment system should have power voltage and frequency options feasible with your power supply line. NEWater offers varying power options (220V ~ 440V/50 ~ 60HZ) to ensure compatibility with varying power supply options.

High rejection rates for contaminants.

The primary objective of water treatment systems is to eradicate as many contaminants as possible. Decent water treatment systems have high impurity rejection rates as evidenced by NEWater’s RO systems, which remove up to 99.7% of pollutants.

Ultrafiltration systems are quite reputable in eradicating viruses, bacteria, and other disease-causing microorganisms. The impurity removal score averages from 90-99% while Nanofiltration systems eliminate up to 99% of multivalent ions.

Sufficient capacities.

A water treatment system’s capacity determines the volume of water you can treat in an hour or day. As such, your imminent system should have an adequate capacity range that meets your daily or hourly treated water projections.

Industrial water treatment systems like RO plants have capacities ranging from 8000 GPD to 900,000 GPD while commercial and personal systems are available in standard capacities ranging from 400 GPD. For optimum compatibility, you can seek to have the manufacturer customize your water treatment system.

Longevity.

How much service will your imminent water treatment system grant you? Well, a good water treatment system should last you 15-20 years while providing high-grade services. For reverse osmosis systems, the membranes should optimally serve you for three years before necessitating change.

High-quality material.

To mitigate fouling of the system, the equipment is often made from stainless steel and other non-corrosive material. Components made of stainless steel include rack pipes and fittings. This facilitates longer lifespans and minimizes expenses on repairs.

Advantages of Utilizing NEWater’s Water Treatment Systems.

NEWater is an accomplished manufacturer of water treatment systems with a humongous customer base in China and internationally. In addition to manufacturing the best water treatment systems, we offer numerous customer services to our customers.

NEWater’s systems are intelligently designed to offer optimum water treatment and support varying applications. The following are additional reasons for you to acquire a premium water treatment system from NEWater.

Undisputed quality.

NEWater only utilizes the best-quality components to manufacture water treatment systems of unrivaled quality. In addition to using the best technology and tapping into the skills of the best engineers, we subject all our systems to thorough testing prior to shipment.

NEWater’s water treatment machines are ISO 9001 certified and meet the stipulated quality standards set by the European CE. By undertaking the whole production process internally, we are able to set and maintain high-quality standards.

 

Figure 11 Customized water treatment plant.

Competitive prices.

By shopping from NEWater, you are assured of relatively low and discounted prices on water treatment plants. Thanks to top-notch technology and efficient production methods, we are able to deliver high-quality water treatment systems at the market best prices.

Furthermore, we offer flexible payment terms that permit installation payments on containerized and large water treatment units. For humongous systems, you are only obliged to make a 50% payment when placing your order. You can pay the remaining 30% after you have inspected the progress in production and clear the remaining 20% prior to shipment.

Customization.

At NEWater, we offer personalized solutions to your water treatment project. Our engineers design water treatment solutions based on the data provided by our clients. This entails the voltage and frequency options, potable water quality, the concentration of feed water, and desired flow rates. For portability and compatibility, we manufacture customized water treatment systems in tailored skid mounts and standard containers.

Efficient energy consumption and low maintenance costs.

NEWater’s reverse osmosis water treatment systems have energy recovery devices, which significantly lowers the systems’ power consumption. Thanks to energy recovery technologies, our water treatment systems are typically inexpensive to operate. Moreover, they have extensive lifespans thereby facilitating quick returns on investment.

Impressive after-sale services.

NEWater is a company that understands and values customer relations. Therein, we are determined to ensure our clients have a smooth time using our water treatment systems. To appreciate our loyal customer base, we offer the following after-sale services.

  • NEWater’s customer service team works 24/7 to ensure all the demands of our clients are heard and worked on promptly.
  • We offer a one-year warranty policy as a show of our products’ undisputed quality. Our warranty protection ensures the company deals with technical hiccups without burdening the user.
  • We provide door-to-door delivery services to over 200 countries. Our delivery duration is unmatched averaging 3-7 days for small-sized systems and 2-3 months for larger equipment.
  • NEWater offers free technical consultation services and provides lifetime repair services at discounted rates.

Comprehensive coverage of NEWater’s water treatment systems and related services is available on our website https://www.newater.com/. For additional information, inquiries or feedback, kindly contact our customer support team.

 

 

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