HUBER VRM® membrane system "Title 22" approved

Principial sketch of VRM® membrane system
VRM® 20/36 pilot plant at San Diego Point Loma
coliphages in inlet an permeate
Retention of germs while “peak testing”
transmembrane pressuse development while operation period

The situation

The Title 22 standards are applied for example in California to be able to evaluate technical plants in the run-up to tenders. These standards define the criteria for water recycling (i.e. the quality of treated wastewater).

If a manufacturer wants to be considered in the preliminary phase of a tender, he should be title 22 approved. The approval can be acquired in a special test, which is carried out by commissioned engineering consultants.

Since this approval is a must if you want to sell in the US, also HUBER had its VRM® and MCB® systems tested.

A new pilot plant was manufactured especially for these tests in order to apply for the Title 22 approval of the VRM® system to be granted by the Californian Department of Health Services (DHS). In October 20005 the plant was installed and put into operation on WWTP Point Loma, San Diego.

Plant description

A pilot plant that meets all state-of-the-art and latest technical design features was especially manufactured for the testing and approval process.

The plant is able to cope with a maximum throughput of 45 m³/d and is fully equipped with all associated equipment and the electrical control unit (incl. the automatic data collection system).

Furthermore, the plant is completely insulated and equipped with covers.

Approval phase

The operation phase took four months, while the actual approval period was only six days. In the two months prior to the approval phase the plant had been run in, the biomass concentration increased to 12 g/l and the complete plant adjusted to the test requirements.

The test operation included the constant operation and two hours peak operation per day at a peak factor of 1.9. During this time the effluent quality and behaviour of the transmembrane pressure difference was watched to anticipate the fouling behaviour and necessity of cleaning.

Test results

The tests showed that the effluent quality remains constant independent of the flow rate. Neither increased wastewater parameters (BOD, ammonium nitrogen), solids or germs were measured. A separate test for coliphages (micro germs smaller than the membrane pore size) even showed a retention of more than four decimal powers.

Not only the effluent quality did not change during the tests, also the membrane filtration performance remained constant. Thus, even very high surface-related flows of up to 55 lmh did not increase the tendency to fouling. The permeability was virtually constant at 300. Another positive factor was the relatively high wastewater temperature of 25°C.

When all tests had been completed and the final report submitted, the Department of Health Services of the State of California, officially awarded on 22nd June 2006 in the name of its first magistrate Arnold Schwarzenegger the Title 22 Approval on 22nd for the HUBER VRM® membrane system.

by Torsten Hackner, HUBER Filtration & Reuse

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