IXOM Watercare

Worlds First Magnetic Ion Exchange Water Treatment Plant to be Installed in Western Australia

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Courtesy of Courtesy of IXOM Watercare

Since the mid-1980s, the Water Corporation of Western Australia (WCWA) has been investigating technologies to prevent an intermittent ‘swampy’ odor occurring in the city of Perth’s treated ground-waters (O’Leary and Herbert, 1998). Groundwater contributes around 50% of the water supply for Perth, which has a population of approximately 1.3 million. The Wanneroo Groundwater Treatment Plant (GWTP) is Perth’s largest, with a flow rate of 59 MGD (225 ML/d), and treats 20% of the city’s water supply. The groundwater supplies are typically treated using aeration, coagulation, sedimentation and filtration. The compound responsible for the odor, identified as dimethyl trisulphide (DMTS), is most likely a product of bacterial activity in the distribution system.

Trials of various technologies have been performed at the Wanneroo GWTP to determine how to enhance the existing treatment regime to prevent the formation of odors in the distribution system. In the last 12 months, enhanced coagulation has been introduced at Wanneroo GWTP, which has reduced but not eliminated downstream DMTS formation

Technologies trialed have included granular activated carbon (GAC), ozone/biological GAC (O3/BGAC), enhanced coagulation, and microfiltration and since 1997, a process based on a magnetised ion exchange resin, the MIEX resin. The treatment objective for these technologies was to reduce the current treated water DOC and non-sulphide-reduced-sulphur (NSRS) levels entering the distribution system. Elevated levels of DOC contribute to biofilm formation in the distribution system, which, in addition to NSRS, is strongly aligned to DMTS formation (Franzmann et al, 1999).

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