Posted on September 8th, 2015

Commercial Water Softening
The commercial water softening process is used in countless schools, office buildings, hospitals, restaurants, industrial production processes and many other industries for two main reasons: softened water reduces plumbing system downtime and saves money long term. Commercial buildings that use water on a daily basis can benefit from a softening system. How do these units work, what advantages do they provide and how is a custom system designed?

How it Works

When water passes through the ground, it collects minerals, namely calcium and magnesium. These elements can interfere with the plumbing systems the water supply feeds as well as the water’s effectiveness in cleaning and production processes. To eliminate these minerals from the supply, softening systems use ion exchange.

Advantages of Softened Water

Hard water leaves behind sediment which eventually will build up and interfere with the operation of heat exchangers, water heaters, cooling tower equipment, boilers and any other appliance or system requiring a continuous flow for proper function. In a commercial setting, when a piece of equipment fails, it does not only mean the business must pay to repair, replace and reintegrate the component, it also means a stoppage in normal operations as well, which can result in even further monetary losses.

Additionally, hard water reduces the effectiveness of cleaning products. It leaves a soap scum behind and spots on washed items. This is not ideal for any commercial building in the hospitality or health industry where cleanliness is vitally important.

Soft water eliminates both of these problems, since the lack of minerals reduces the number of scale deposits in plumbing systems and equipment, and detergents can clean and sanitize at their most effective rate.

Designing a Custom System

Every commercial water softening system should be custom-designed to suit the needs of building operation or production processes. First, a professional team will explore the industry the system is built for, ensuring it lives up to its application intention. Next, the team will measure the hardness of the water supply the system must accommodate. The hardness level will determine the system capacity needed, along with total system consumption, measured in both gallons per minute and gallons per day. Once every measurement is calculated comparatively, an accurate picture of the type and size of the commercial water softening system can be determined.

Trust Innovative Water Treatment to structure a commercial water softening system to perfectly fit the needs of your industry and your business’ water use without issue.

Posted on August 10th, 2015

Water deionization is a vital step in the water purification process of multiple industries. Modern technological advancements in production processes require increasing levels of purity. A deionization system assists by removing and replacing sodium ions with hydrogen ions, resulting in ion-free water, fit for use in high-tech production or for the next step in a comprehensive water purification system.

What Is the Purpose of the Process?

Deionized water is used in a number of industries, including food and beverage production, auto body finishing, hospital systems, pharmaceutical production, textile and chemical plants and more. Deionization is normally only one component of a larger water purification process and is considered a polishing technique. It is not designed to trap and extract organic matter, bacteria or other unwanted particles. If it does succeed in purifying these substances, it most likely occurs through an accidental, circumstantial trapping of the materials in the resin exchange material.

Two-Step Deionization Process

For removal of all salt, the water must pass through two different ion exchange materials. The first phase of the process involves the exchange of metallic ions then present in the water, such as calcium and magnesium, for hydrogen ions. This is the basis of a water-softening process as well, but in the first phase of deionization, all metallic ions are removed, rather than only calcium and magnesium. After passing through the first material exchange, the supply loses all sodium ions and they are replaced with hydrogen ions. The resulting fluid is positively charged with a high number of hydrogen ions and is then ready to complete the next stage of the process.

The second exchange material involves displacement of current negative ions, referred to as anions. All anions in the water supply are replaced with hydroxyl anions. Through chemical processes, the negative hydroxyl bonds with the positive hydrogen to create water, eliminating all presence of ions in the water.

Types of Deionization Systems

Bed deionization systems are either separate or mixed. Separate systems direct the water through one resin bed at a time. Mixed-bed systems conduct ion exchanges simultaneously. Both types require a recharging of the resin exchange material after a certain amount of water has been processed.

While both separate and mixed bed deionization systems exist, electrodeionization utilizes an electric field and reverse osmosis to achieve the same results, without needing to replenish the exchange material. The ions are transported through the system and removed, allowing for constant processing with no pause for system maintenance. A continuous electrodeionization system’s life span can extend over five years, depending on the industry and the size of the system. Other options include capacitative electrodeionization systems, in which the supply is processed in batches. 

Contact Innovative Water Treatment ​for the design, production and installation of a specialized water deionization system to fit the needs of your industry.

Posted on July 13th, 2015

Like many byproducts of production, industrial wastewater must be treated before recycling or recirculation takes place. Industrial wastewater can be treated in a number of ways, depending on the water quality and its future destination.

Why Treat It?

Industrial processes account for 22 percent of worldwide water consumption. Treatment and water reuse reduces the need for water removal from natural supplies. Industrial wastewater treatment systems have an initial cost for purchase and setup, but they can help you can save on water consumption. Also, reusing water instead of expelling it reduces wear on plumbing and sewer systems, and limits harmful components from polluting the environment, which could result in major fines on the business. The following methods are commonly incorporated into treatment systems.

Oil and Grease Removal

Wastewater from industries involving oil, gas and chemical processing necessitate oil and grease removal in the form of skimming machines as the first step in the treatment process. Wastewater enters a tank heated in order to keep oil and grease in liquid form. Unwanted material rises to the surface where the skimmer removes the top layer of grease. At the bottom of the tank, sludge is pumped out for further treatment.

Brine Treatment

Water with high saline levels receives brine treatment to reduce the number of dissolved salt ions contained in the supply. This type of industrial wastewater treatment is normally needed for water used in cooling towers, natural gas extractions, hydraulic fracturing, and food and beverage manufacturing byproducts.

Lowering the brine content is important for water intended for future use or to simply reduce the overall water supply volume. The overall approach to this treatment method may involve many different tactics, including membrane filtration or evaporative techniques. 

Organic Material Removal

Treating industrial wastewater from food processing plants involves removing biodegradable organic materials. First, the activated sludge method utilizes oxygen to break down the organic particles. The water flows into a chamber where air is injected and evenly distributed throughout the wastewater. Afterward, the water moves to a settling tank, sometimes called a clarifier. The organic material separates and turns into sludge, which drifts to the bottom of the tank to be removed and treated further. The treated water moves on to the next step in the process, if needed.

A second method, called trickling filter, also is used to break down and remove organic material. Wastewater flows over a surface composed of rocks or peat moss, covered by a layer of microbial slime. Air is pumped through the bed as the wastewater flows across, and organic matter is removed as sludge, transported for treatment elsewhere.

Innovative Water Treatment is a leader in constructing innovative purification systems – contact their team today for a consultation involving your business’ needs and preferences when it comes to industrial wastewater treatment.

Posted on June 4th, 2015

Ultra high purity water (UPW), sometimes referred to as ultrapure, is water of the highest quality, treated in three stages to remove all organic matter and dissolved gases with a specially designed system. Depending on the industry, the UPW treatment system focuses on removing detrimental particles and matter. Read on to learn more about ultra high purity water and the purification system involved.

What is Ultra High Purity Water?

UPW is used in many industries, but the main producers and consumers of UPW include semiconductor, solar photovoltaic and pharmaceutical plants. Each industry maintains its own definitive standards of purity for their UPW supply. As an example, semiconductor production utilizes UPW to clean products. Any particles in the UPW may get left behind and contribute to the sudden failure of the microchip over time. Pharmaceutical production uses it as an ingredient in human and animal medications. The water must be completely purified of all toxins, viruses and bacteria.

What are the Steps of Purification?

All UPW systems are highly dependent on the source water’s quality. The treatment options are largely dictated by the level of purification already achieved. However, most every purification system follows these three steps:
  1. Pretreatment: The main goal of pretreatment is to generally purify the water. First, the water goes through one or more stages of reverse osmosis and demineralization. If it contains a high level of suspended solids and organic particles, filtration methods such as multi-media filtration, automatic backwash filtration and ultrafiltration are applied. Multi-media filtration has the ability to extract particles as small as five microns.
  2. Primary: Next, ultraviolet light is used to effectively destroy total organic carbons (TOCs) to reduce the water to its purest form. Exposure to UV light initiates a chemical reaction. High levels of UV cause water molecules to dissociate and create hydroxyls. The hydroxyls bond easily with TOCs. When they combine, they form new water and carbon dioxide molecules and the original TOCs are gone. UV light can also break apart TOCs without a chemical reaction with water, or ionize the TOCs so they can be destroyed by a deionization system in the next stage of treatment. At the primary treatment stage, gases are also removed.
  3. Polishing: Finally, the UPW system begins to finalize the treatment process. This stage involves membrane degasification, the removal of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide. The water will also pass through ultrafiltration membranes to ensure particle size standards are met. If the industry requires a high temperature, the UPW product is heated before passing on to the point of use.
New technologies involving UPW recycling and reuse are constantly explored. Talk to a professional at Innovative Water Treatment for specific advice related to your industry and for guidance putting together a water management plan and installing an ultra high purity water treatment system.

Posted on May 12th, 2015

Membrane filtration is a growing popular choice in the water treatment sphere. The process involves separating undesirable organic compounds or dissolved substances from water. Membrane filtration can be used in conjunction with other water treatment methods, or it may be the only treatment process. Learn about the principles of membrane filtration and the materials it can eradicate from a water source.

How Does It Work?

In this instance, a membrane is a semi-permeable material able to separate contaminants based on their size or chemical makeup. Depending on the type of membrane, the pore size of the material will vary, as each type is designed to filter different shapes and sizes of contaminants. Using reverse osmosis pressure, contaminated water is forced through the membrane, leaving all unwanted substances behind, producing clean, pure water.

Membrane Filtration Levels

Before selecting a membrane filtration system, determine what particles must be removed. Smaller molecules require tighter membranes with miniscule pores. Here are the different classifications of membranes available:
  • Microfiltration: The pore size ranges from 0.1 to 1.0 micrometers and removes particle material including bacteria. Microfiltration is used to remove contagious pathogens from potable water supplies that are resistant to traditional chemical water treatments. It is a staple process of commercial beverage production, removing unwanted substances without compromising the flavor of the final product. It is also used in the petroleum refinery field and is the first step in dairy product processing, before pasteurization.
  • Ultrafiltration: The pore size ranges from 0.001 to 0.1 micrometers and removes viruses and acids, in addition to the particles targeted by microfiltration. Ultrafiltration is also used to purify drinking water, normally as a precursor to reverse osmosis. It is used to concentrate whey in the dairy industry and used as an effective wastewater treatment. Ultrafiltration is used for blood dialysis and in laboratories for other blood treatments.
  • Nanofiltration: The pore size ranges from 0.0001 to 0.001 micrometers, removing all of the materials previously targeted by microfiltration and ultrafiltration, with the addition of dissolved heavy metals and salt. Nanofiltration is used for water softening and in commercial beverage production, including the dairy industry. It is commonly used in the personal care products industry to create perfume and lotion.
  • Reverse Osmosis: The most microscopic membrane filter pore size ranges from 0.001 and down, removing the smallest substances possible. Reverse osmosis has a wide range of functions, but the primary use is to purify drinking water and recycle wastewater for non-potable purposes. It is widely utilized in the food industry to create concentrated beverages and products such as protein powder and maple syrup.

Depending on the context of the industrial system, one or more of the filters may be installed as a step in a water treatment system.

Membrane filtration at all levels is a useful treatment for both commercial and industrial sectors. Contact Innovative Water Treatment for in-depth guidance on selecting the membrane filtration system to fit your business.