Five Ways a Retrofit Can Improve Your Water or Wastewater Equipment

Thickener retrofit for power generating facility

Your water and wastewater treatment equipment is subject to continuous wear and tear, requiring repeat visits for parts and services. You can, though, take steps now to minimize repairs and keep your equipment running its best for years to come.

One way to make quality improvements, take advantage of developing technology, and save time and money over buying new is with a rebuild or retrofit.

When you partner with WesTech’s in-house design experts for your retrofit, especially to replace previous WesTech equipment, you gain direct access to experts in the industry and avoid competitive bidding and costly consulting fees. Here are five ways that retrofits can improve treatment processes, illustrated by examples of WesTech experts who partnered with customers on projects.

1. Improve Operations

The conventional gravity filters at a drinking water plant in Iowa (PDF) were showing their age. The facility could not maintain filter runs, sustain backwash rates, and retain media in the filter.

The aquifer that the plant draws from had strict removal guidelines. The plant needed to be efficient to make the best use of the limited water available.

We identified the backwash process as an area for improvement and suggested retrofitting with a MULTIWASH® backwash enhancement. This boosted filter cleaning performance and extended filter run lengths by providing simultaneous air and water backwash.

2. Boost Efficiency

As aging refineries handle increasing water loads, inefficient upstream oil capture can lead to large amounts of free oil in their wastewater systems. If budget or space constraints make plant expansion difficult, they can still take steps to get better results. For instance, WesTech recently helped a client retrofit their existing wastewater clarifiers with ducking skimmers. This retrofit solution helped them save millions on costly maintenance, as well as avoiding more expensive infrastructure replacement.

3. Upgrade Underperforming Equipment

Faced with a growing population and an increased water demand, an Alabama community (PDF) was building a new facility for their own water supply so they would no longer need to buy water. Their new plant drew water from the Tennessee River, which holds high seasonal organic matter and turbidity.

For treatment, the community chose ultrafiltration membrane technology because it offered a physical barrier against contaminants. However, the original membranes did not meet expectations and needed constant chemical cleaning to reduce fouling. This took time and made it difficult to meet system demands. A retrofit of the original membranes helped the plant meet its original goals.

Ultrafiltration retrofit for better treatment of water source
An ultrafiltration membrane retrofit installed to better treat a new water source

4. Improve Consistency

For a soda ash producer in Wyoming (PDF), the consistent grade of the final product is important. The method of soda ash production at the facility requires a hot dissolution process, and recovery of the hot pregnant liquor takes place in a primary clarifier.

The producer wanted to improve the recovery and purity of their final product. Any remaining solids in the clarifier overflow would lower the final product grade. WesTech successfully installed an EvenFlo® feedwell in the clarifier to minimize the overflow of suspended solids and reduce flocculant use. In the future, the plant will spend less on costly polymer.

5. Increase Capacity

A gold mine in the western U.S. (PDF) increased profits after a complex carbon retention screen retrofit helped the mine increase throughput and gold capture.

The mine used a resin-in-pulp/resin-in-leach (RIP/RIL) solution to recover gold more efficiently from its ore supply. The process uses thiosulphate leaching and resin media.

But the new media impeded flow through the mine’s CIL circuit. The problem meant that the mine risked not meeting its throughput target for production.

One option was to purchase new capital equipment, but engineers decided a better fix was a modified version of WesTech’s lift-assist pumping screen. The retrofit project cost less than a new purchase and increased gold yield and mine throughput.

Call Us for Help

WesTech has been providing water treatment retrofits for decades. We specialize in clarifier drive rebuilds and offer a complete array of rebuild, retrofit, refurbish, and replacement solutions. Let us know how we can help with your next project.

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