Many Florida water utilities face a number of challenges in treating their water supplies to meet the current EPA water quality standards. These challenges will only increase as the EPA tightens these standards and for many utilities, conventional treatment processes will no longer be suitable.
Ion exchange has long been recognised as a technology capable of removing many dissolved compounds from water that cause water quality problems but short-comings such as high capital costs and resin fouling have limited its use in large scale water treatment plants. A new magnetic ion exchange resin (MIEX) has been developed in Australia for use in a continuous ion exchange process that overcomes many of the problems associated with conventional ion exchange systems and makes this technology economically feasible for large water treatment plants.
A number of laboratory evaluations have been performed on Florida water sources including raw water from Pasco County, Aloha Utilities, Tampa Bay Water and Miami-Dade’s Preston and Hialeah water treatment plants. These tests demonstrated very efficient removal of TOC and a significant reduction in the disinfection by-product formation potential of these waters. A trial was conducted at Pasco County over several months during 2000 with the primary objective of reducing sulfide levels. Results indicate very good sulfide removal and the additional benefit of TOC removal which will allow the County to meet future EPA disinfection by-product standards.
This paper discusses in detail the MIEX technology, results of laboratory and pilot plant tests performed on Florida waters and where MIEX can be best applied in solving water quality problems encountered in Florida.