Victor Project – De Beers Canada, Ontario case study

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Courtesy of H2O Innovation

In early 2006 De Beers Canada began the construction of its first Ontario diamond mine, in the James Bay Lowlands. To provide drinking water for this mining camp and its daily workforce of nearly 1,000 , the engineering- consulting firm AMEC recommended that De Beers Canada call on the expertise of H2O Innovation.

H2O presented a solution that matched its client's very special needs and requirements - a system that can be modified to perform two distinct types of treatment:

Phase 1 of the project consists of a complete treatment line comprising an OMEGA-8ROGRW reverse osmosis unit for treating groundwater rich in iron, manganese, TDS, and other substances.

Phase 2 of the project consists of a complete treatment line comprising an OMEGA 8NFSUW nanofiltration unit for treating coloured turbid surface water, rich in pathogenic microorganisms.

This system, entirely designed and manufactured by H2O Innovation, is fully automated and safe, and equipped with a remote operating and monitoring system.

The NanH2Ofiltration and NanH2Osoft systems more than meet current Ontario regulations. They are designed for the treatment of surface waters and groundwater respectively, using membrane filtration, producing safe drinking water that is perfectly suited to the specific requirements of the mining camp. Completion of this project demonstrates the expertise that H2O is developing for the needs of small, remote, and/or isolated communities.

PHASE 1:
The raw water is pumped from a well (whose water is affected by surface waters) and sent by a pressure pump to the system's inlet. The water is first chlorinated, and then passed through two filters (greensand and anthracite), which perform a catalytic oxidation of the dissolved metals in the groundwater. This reduces its high concentrations of iron and manganese, which would harm the membranes. The water is dechlorinated by passing it over granulated activated carbon contained in two filters. It is then pumped under pressure through two tanks, each containing four XLE-440 Dow-Filmtec reverse osmosis membranes, which reduce the high chloride and hardness levels, and also eliminate any traces of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, etc.). Three UV systems then ensure that the disinfection is complete. Finally, sodium hypochlorite is added to the processed water to maintain enough residual chlorine to prevent the growth of bacteria in the system.

PHASE 2:

Raw water is pumped from the nearby river and sent by a pressure pump to 75- micron self-cleaning disk pre-filters. The screened water then feeds into multimedia filters (which use the same tanks as the greensand and activatedcarbon filters employed in Phase 1, but with new types of media), which remove particles around 10 microns in size, and then passes through a 5-micron sediment pre-filter. This water is pressure-pumped through the same tanks as those used in Phase 1 (this time containing four NF270-400 Dow-Filmtec nanofiltration membranes), which remove not only the fine particles that cause turbidity, and the colloidal matter responsible for colouring the water, but also all the microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, etc.). The water may then be remineralized or its pH may be adjusted, before passing through two UV systems that ensure the integrity of the membranes. Finally, sodium hypochlorite is added to the 0processed water to ensure the presence of residual chlorine.

RESULTS

  • H2O Innovation has provided a unique processing option, by using the same components to perform two completely different kinds of treatment
  • Outputs of 50 USGPM and 25 USGPM respectively are produced during the two phases (110 l/min and 95 l/min)
  • The water produced is colourless, safe to drink, and has a good taste
  • The quality of the water exceeds both Ontario and federal Canadian standards
  • H2O Innovation offers continuing, real-time customer support via its remote-control system, which provides access to the system from a 24-hour service centre in Quebec

 

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