Evaluation of membrane bioreactor technology and desalting membranes for reuse..
The City of Rio Rancho and MWH have recently completed a pilot-testing program to evaluate MBR technology followed by reverse osmosis (RO) membranes during operation on municipal wastewater. The pilot testing program is part of an overall water reuse plan being implemented by the City of Rio Rancho, NM to conserve water supplies through recycling of wastewater currently being discharged to the Rio Grande River. The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate that MBR technology can meet local water reuse goals for commercial, landscape irrigation, and industrial uses, as well as surface water discharge requirements. In addition, the study focused on demonstrating that RO membranes can operate on MBR effluent to produce high quality purified water for groundwater recharge. Lastly the study evaluated the ability of MBR and RO processes to remove selected emerging contaminants, including endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs). In order to meet project objectives pilot system consisting of MBR/RO was operated over a 6-month period. During this time a water quality sampling plan was implemented to cover a wide range of inorganic and organic contaminates regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act and New Mexico Water Quality Commission. Results from the study showed that MBR consistently produced a high water quality suitable for industrial and irrigation non-potable uses and provided a robust pretreatment to RO. In addition, product water from the overall treatment train met all federal and state regulations. Lastly most EDC and PPCP compounds were removed through the MBR/RO process to concentration levels below analytical detection.