UF membrane system for UK water treatment facility

Evoqua Water Technologies Pty Ltd
Monday, 16 June, 2014

United Utilities UK selected Evoqua Water Technologies to design, supply, install and commission a modular MEMCOR ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system at its Rochdale treatment works in greater Manchester. Evoqua worked with United Utilities and its contractor KMI Plus to meet the site’s regulatory and capacity challenges, as well as provide a cost-effective and sustainable solution.

The project was required to not involve civil works and use the existing building on Clay Lane, which meant the new membrane plant needed to be compact. The closure of United Utilities’ Haweswater Aqueduct for maintenance also placed time constraints on the project as it meant the site would need to be working at full capacity by the time of the closure to prevent any disruption to local supply.

At the heart of the redevelopment was Evoqua’s MEMCOR UF membrane system, a pressurised, pre-engineered membrane system with a modular building block configuration. The system incorporates automated processes - including backwashing to remove built-up solids from membrane surfaces at regular, operator-adjustable intervals - as well as in-built cleaning and membrane integrity testing to ensure a consistent and efficient operation, regardless of feed quality.

The membrane system’s vertical hollow fibre membrane configuration is sealed at both ends to separate the feed side from the filtrate side of the membrane module. Fibres are made with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) polymer, which provides optimum strength and durability. Its integrated backwashing, which offers high feed recovery due to the lower volumes of filtered water being used during the process, eliminates the need for separate pumps.

Before installing the membrane technology, Evoqua performed a pilot-scale trial to demonstrate the capabilities of the system and ensure it would deliver the quality of water needed to supply the local area. The trial confirmed the system’s ability to adapt to the works’ raw water quality and deliver constant high-quality water.

The full installation was completed within 14 months. The simple design of the system enabled Evoqua to install platforms around the works, making every area of the system easily accessible for operators. Clay Lane is now capable of treating 16 ML of drinking water each day.

“By working closely with Evoqua, we were able to identify the most cost and operationally effective route to improve our Rochdale works,” said United Utilities Project Manager Danny Brennan.

“Considering the scale of the redevelopment and the added time pressures, we’ve been able to create a high-performing, sustainable treatment plant efficiently and cost effectively.”

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