Environmental Protection

Case Study: Treatment System Removes Iron, Manganese Below MCLs

Serrano Water District in Villa Park, Calif., agreed to implement and test a water treatment system at the Villa Park Dam in an effort to explore affordable solutions for reducing high levels of iron and manganese in its water stream.

The dam is a flood-retention structure on Santiago Creek upstream from the Serrano Water District Treatment Plant. It retains water from runoff and spring flow but in general, large flood flows are not allowed to accumulate behind the dam.

The reservoir capacity is 16,000 acre-feet and the average impoundment varies between 150 and 750 acre-feet during the year. The Serrano Water District has been unwilling to use this water because of the historically high costs associated with removing very high quantities of iron and manganese in the reservoir water.

Elixir 225, the test water treatment system, was developed by SIONIX Corp. of Irvine, Calif. The tests involved using only potassium permanganate, instead of flocculants and coagulants that are typically used in this application. The company conducted the tests, which were overseen by Environmental Engineering and Contracting, Inc., an independent third-party consulting firm. According to TestAmerica Laboratories, Inc., the test results showed that the system reduced iron and manganese levels of the water behind the dam from 0.880 milligrams per liter (mg/l) and 3.4 mg/l to non-detectable and 0.024 mg/l, respectively. These levels are substantially below the maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) allowed for drinking water.

Richard Papalian, chief executive officer of SIONIX Corp., stated, "We will continue testing and work toward producing potable water at the dam. Our advantage lies in having developed a prepackaged system for quick delivery and easy installation to purify water at relatively low capital and operating costs; the benefits are quite compelling."

The chemical cost to reach the below-MCL target using the system is approximately $0.18 per 1,000 gallons. With the treatment of iron and manganese, the test results would indicate that the water behind the dam could become suitable for the Serrano Water Treatment Plant to process and distribute to its customers.

SIONIX is in the final phases of testing Elixir 225 for treating drinking water, processing wastewater, and desalination. These systems combine dissolved air flotation on the front end and use-specific filtration and other purification technologies on the back end, depending on the application. The system is designed for industrial and municipal uses, including defense, government facilities, emergency water supplies during natural disasters, resorts and hotels, housing development projects, industrial process waters including food, dairy and meat processing, and brackish waste water from oil and gas drilling.

EEC has been providing environmental consulting services to industries and municipalities since 1995 and is known for the technical expertise of its geologists, hydrogeologists, engineers, and chemists and for finding innovative solutions to environmental, wastewater, and stormwater challenges.

TestAmerica Laboratories, Inc., has 40 environmental testing laboratories and 27 service centers nationwide. The firm provides technical expertise and comprehensive analytical testing services including specialty analyses of aquatic toxicity, explosives, specialty organics, dioxins, drinking water, sediments and tissues, emerging contaminants, radiochemistry. and mixed waste testing.

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