Drinking water treatment safely managed

Nanofiltration and reverse osmosis systems

Complex treatment plants require regular check-ups

The treatment of raw water into drinking water takes place invisibly behind filter columns, pipes and treatment equipment in waterworks. Even the drinking water itself usually does not show whether the treatment technology is working properly and efficiently. From the regularly conducted drinking water analyses alone, it is not always possible to conclude the effectiveness and efficiency of all treatment stages. Together with the experts from TZW, undesirable malfunctions can be effectively avoided or remedied.

Troubleshooting support

Occasionally, water suppliers become aware of problems by unusual analysis results of the drinking water lead to the suspicion that something is wrong with the drinking water treatment. In these cases, it can help to have an expert from outside take a close look at the treatment process in the waterworks. If the existing processes and water analyses are viewed and evaluated together with the technicians in the waterworks, functional faults in the chain of treatment stages can be found and avoided.

Regular function checks

More certainty with regard to flawless treatment can be achieved by regularly carrying out a functional check of the entire treatment process chain. Here, the effectiveness of each reprocessing stage is checked by on-site measurements or laboratory analyses. The result is documented in a test report. Comparable to the biennial general inspection of motor vehicles, this reduces the probability of faulty or inefficient treatment and creates more safety for the consumer and the water supplier.

Material inspection is an important element

As a further element in the verification of well-functioning treatment, TZW offers the characterisation of treatment materials used, such as activated carbons or inert filter materials like quartz sand. Fresh activated carbons, for example, are tested for various parameters such as iodine number, nitrobenzene number, bulk density and ash content after delivery to the waterworks in order to check their quality. In addition to this type of "incoming goods inspection", materials in use can also be assessed. Activated carbons are evaluated  in terms of their available residual adsorption capacity by the nitrobenzene number. In the case of filter sands, hydroanthracite or pumice, grain size distributions from different filter layer depths are used to assess the extent to which grain growth has progressed or whether, in the case of materials in multi-layer filters, the rinsing procedure used actually results in the desired separation of the materials.

These steps form the basis of operational monitoring, as is also required in the technical regulations and by law. The aim of the cooperation between TZW with its comprehensive scientifically based know-how and the local water supplier is to achieve the highest possible security of supply for consumers.

Are you interested in further information or do you have a specific question in your company? Then please feel free to contact Dr Marcel Riegel and his team of experts.