Transporting water to remote sites, be it potable or process water in mining, industrial, municipal or private applications, requires immense logistical management and can significantly add to day-to-day overheads.
This was a topic presented at a recent technical seminar on 2 September 2014 in Johannesburg, hosted by Veolia Water Technologies, South Africa.
A cost effective alternative
According to Warrick Sanders, Project Engineer at Veolia, the solution for companies facing these types of logistical challenges is packaged or containerised water treatment plants.
Package plants are comprised of individual prefabricated modules, specified in both size and function by the intended application, to offer customers tailored onsite water treatment solutions. Package plants facilitate high-standard water treatment in remote locations and, with their plug-and-play functionality, provide a simple, cost-effective and scalable solution in these settings.
Package plants are not only totally adaptable to the requirements of their application, they can be modified as the needs of the site change and develop, with low costs. Ultimately, entire package plants can be transported to alternative sites as required.
Package plant modules can be equipped with any Veolia treatment technology, and are ideal for:
- Potable water production (incl. desalination)
- Wastewater treatment
- Industrial water treatment solutions
Package plant modules are designed and configured by Veolia in-house, so that they can be quickly assembled and installed through their plug-and-play functionality with minimum installation time. Their compact, containerised design means they are easily transported via road. This enables these plants to be erected more easily in remote locations, where the scope of equipment and materials used to construct a permanent plant places greater demands on transport and delivery.
In short, package plants facilitate:
- Quick delivery times
- Plug and play installation
- Ease of service and maintenance
- Low process controller involvement
- System integration
- Energy efficiency
Industry and municipal use
Package plants are used in mining, petrochemical, automotive, utilities and power generation, food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries, usually within a R15 million capital value cap. They are also used widely in municipal applications.
Treatment for various applications
Package and containerised water treatment plants from Veolia provide for a range of applications, including sewage, potable and process water, demineralised water and effluent treatment. "Our sewage and potable water treatment facilities are used mainly to assist mining infrastructure and for municipal use," Sanders explains.
Veolia Water Technologies - Engineered Systems, offers a range of packaged plant solutions and has the necessary expertise to tailor engineer any type of packaged plant and solution processes to any required specifications. "We offer standard and customised package and modular water treatment plants and water treatment solutions for practically any site in Africa," Sander continues.
Standard packaged water treatment plants from Veolia comprise three basic versions: standard packages; containerised applications; and custom-engineered solutions. Drafting with full 3D design capability, manufacturing, testing - including FAT, installation and supervision with full electrical, process and mechanical engineering expertise, and full commissioning all form part of Veolia's offering. "In addition," says Sanders, "various types of our package plants can be used in combination to form a complete water treatment plant."
Sewage treatment systems
Of particular interest are Veolia's sewage treatment systems, which make use of trickling filter technology. This technology is employed in both small-scale package plants and full-scale wastewater treatment plants to treat domestic to general or specific standards. Veolia Water Technologies South Africa is southern Africa's leader in trickling filter technology and its packaged sewage treatment systems are available in three configurations: containerised, hybrid and civil-based.
Trickling filter technology
Veolia's trickling filter technology (or Biofilter Conversion) is an effective treatment solution for domestic sewage with high organic content, BOD, COD and other pollutants, and is ideal for any type of plant, including package plants.
Trickling filter technology provides a highly efficient and sustainable solution for upgrading sewage to near potable standards suitable for human consumption; for re-use in irrigation; or for safe and environmentally benign discharge.
The process is relatively simple, with the trickling filter being positioned between the recycle sump and clarifier in the overall sewage treatment process. Water is pumped from the pumping station to the inlet box and subsequently the septic tank. It is then recycled through the sump and sent through the trickling filter before being clarified and ready for final water storage. The following brief video provides a visual of the trickling filter process.
Package plants are a cost-effective solution that provide operators complete flexibility, fully customisable to the application at hand!
Recent package plant projects we've been involved with:
A containerised sewage treatment plant using trickling filter technology was supplied to a copper mining company in the Democratic Republic of Congo to treat sewage for a community of about 600 people to environmentally acceptable, legislated standards. The facility was erected in 8 weeks and is capable of processing 110 m³ of wastewater per day.
Veolia supplied two package plants configured with reverse osmosis (RO) membranes to a large four star hotel in Mauritius. Using desalination, the package plant provides the hotel's freshwater requirements, meeting stringent requirements to environmental and energy standards.
We are currently in the process of supplying a containerised water treatment plant - comprised of six 40-foot shipping containers - to the Kansanshi Copper Mine, near Solwezi, Zambia. The site has very specific treatment requirements, abstracting and upgrading river water to boiler feed, process and drinking water standards.
Veolia is the solution
"Containerised water treatment plants with all required and approved processes, treating water to your specifications are now easily available with Veolia Water Technologies, South Africa," Sanders concludes. "We will design, build, deliver and commission all plants and processes to specific requirements anywhere in Africa."