WesTech Municipal Water/Wastewater Blog

Municipal Water and Wastewater

Nitrogen Pollution From Agriculture Is a Growing Issue for Drinking Water

Posted by WesTech Engineering on Aug 9, 2018 7:21:51 PM

Growing enough food to feed an expanding population places complex demands on the environment, most significantly from agricultural run-off. Nitrate pollution from excess fertilizer application challenges the quality of water sources and can require a nitrate removal solution to make water safe to drink.

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Category: Water Treatment

Clarifier Upgrade Challenged by Municipal Water Treatment Plant’s Setting

Posted by WesTech Engineering on May 24, 2018 10:25:21 PM

Hester Park overlooks the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It is a picturesque space dotted with Works Projects Administration-era stone bridges and walking trails. Hidden underneath the grass fields and play areas of the park is the municipal water treatment plant, which was built into the hillside in the 1950s. Its size is deceptive -- only a third of the facility is visible to the park visitors. People who come to the park enjoy their activities without realizing that the municipal water treatment equipment, such as clarifiers, filtration, and chemical treatment, is situated directly beneath them.

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Category: Water Treatment

Breakthrough Biological Treatment Is Cost-Effective and Sustainable for Nitrate Removal in Groundwater

Posted by Fatemeh Shirazi, Ph.D. on Jan 23, 2018 4:26:42 PM

Groundwater supplies almost half of all drinking water in the world, with high economic value and social significance.1 Nitrate (NO3) is one of the most widespread water pollutants on earth, and levels of nitrate in groundwater sources are continuing to rise, making nitrate removal in groundwater a significant concern.

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Category: Water Treatment

Ames, Iowa, Builds New Municipal Water Treatment Plant With WesTech Clarifiers, Filters, and Aerators

Posted by WesTech Engineering on Jun 19, 2017 10:00:00 AM

In 2009, the city of Ames, Iowa, decided to build a new municipal water treatment plant after concluding that renovation and expansion of the existing plant would be more difficult and expensive than starting fresh.

The city’s existing plant, built in 1924 with a filtration system installed in 1927, was originally an iron removal facility with the capacity to handle two million gallons per day (MGD).

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Category: Water Treatment

Groundwater Treatment Removes Contaminants Including Iron, Manganese

Posted by WesTech Engineering on May 10, 2017 4:44:13 PM

Approximately 35% of public-supply water withdrawals come from groundwater sources. One of the most common issues that water plants encounter when it comes to groundwater treatment is the removal of contaminants, including iron and manganese.

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Category: Water Treatment

Cost Assessment and Design Considerations for Microfiltration and Ultrafiltration Membrane System Retrofits

Posted by Daniel J. Dye, PhD, PE; Jason D. Nay; Libbie Linton, PE on Mar 23, 2017 6:44:33 PM

Microfiltration and ultrafiltration membrane (UF/MF) fibers and modules have improved substantially over the last few years, and several new brands have become available. Each manufacturer touts unique membrane characteristics, hydraulic properties, fiber durability, warranty support, resistance to fouling, and operational flexibility.

The abundance of competitive brands on the market has driven costs down, even as quality improves. These factors have caused several water plant owners to consider retrofitting their plant when it comes time to replace part or all of their old membrane system modules.

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Category: Water Treatment

Monitor Basic Plant Parameters to Optimize Net Production

Posted by Rich Ross, Scott Pallwitz, Eric Hessing on Feb 22, 2017 6:04:00 AM


A large percentage of package water treatment plants today operate using obsolete or inefficient backwash methods. These methods can be improved upon by monitoring basic parameters to initiate a clarifier flush and a filter backwash based upon set-time intervals, headloss across the media, and effluent turbidity.

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Category: Water Treatment, Clarifier Maintenance

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