The Challenge

A New Hampshire-based manufacturer of laboratory equipment required increased reverse osmosis (RO) capacity to address a planned facility expansion to double production capacity. As the site’s high purity water service provider, Pure Flow was requested to lead the high purity water system expansion project.

The site had a single 50 GPM RO unit, a Suez PRO 50 RO. The RO pretreatment was designed to meet only the existing 50 GPM RO capacity. The site utilized well water, and the feedwater conditions were particularly challenging: ~900 uS conductivity with unusually high manganese and iron content. Therefore the pretreatment had to be expanded in lock-step with the expansion of RO capacity. As a result, the well water treatment system had to be completely replaced as well.

These upgrades would also require substantial piping modifications to accommodate for the new flow rates. Ultimately, Pure Flow was selected as a turnkey provider to complete the entire scope, including equipment installation, plumbing, and electrical/PLC work.

Our Solution

To solve an RO capacity challenge, it is absolutely critical to begin with an analysis of the pretreatment system, particularly where feedwater quality is suboptimal. In this instance, Pure Flow worked with the end user to replace and expand the existing well-water treatment systems feeding the RO. This included a handful of storage tanks and multiple greensand filters prior to the RO pretreatment.

The ultimate solution included an additional 50 GPM RO. Pure Flow selected a Suez E8 RO for the project. Additional carbon and greensand filters were added to the RO pretreatment to ensure sufficient chlorine removal (carbon) and manganese removal (greensand) prior to the RO. Also, the customer wanted the ROs to run in a specific sequence: duplex alternating, unless additional capacity was required in which case the ROs would run simultaneously. Pure Flow addressed these requests by reprogramming the existing RO PLC to communicate with the new equipment.

The turnkey project was completed in three phases to avoid any plant downtime due to the upgrade. The work resulted in doubled RO capacity, enabling the plant to meet its future output requirements.