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Laboratory plants for a better drinking water treatment

Drinking water

In drinking water supplies systems, water from natural courses is fully treated before being supplied to a distribution system from where it will go to consumers. Water treatments consists in sequential units to eliminate pollutants and pathogens. It usually includes pretreatment; coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation; filtration and disinfection. Performance models can help in understanding and predicting treatments effectiveness, especially in stream events when abstraction water changes like during storms or droughts.

In NAIADES project, water treatment models will be used to help operators in plants to monitoring and control the process. This will be held by a decision support system that will make recommendations in order to optimize the performance of the plant taking into consideration real-time water quality measurements at abstraction point.

During NAIADES project it was confirmed that water treatment plants are critical infrastructures, so that, any validation or change that could affect drinking water distribution is not possible. Furthermore, available data during extreme events is very limited, since they rarely occur. Taking into account these facts, NAIADES team considered that a lab scale plant could be useful to obtain data for models in different scenarios.

AIMEN ls-WTP has the most common processes for drinking water production. It consists of a reservoir tank with sensors to have real time characterization of the inlet water (pH, conductivity and turbidity). Then water mixes with coagulants and flocculants and passes to a precipitation chamber. The next step is a filtration unit filled with sand. The final treatment is a chlorination and then water is stored in a tank where there are sensors for its online characterization (free chlorine and turbidity). Ls-WTP was designed for a maximum flow rate of 50 l/d.

AIMEN ls-wtp

Figure 1. NAIADES scheme for AIMEN ls-WTP.


Figure 2. NAIADES ls-WTP.