NEW DEVELOPMENTS AT THE TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION FACILITY
The upgrades will expand the Walkerton Clean Water Centre’s pilot-testing capabilities
The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) recently completed several upgrades in the Technology Demonstration Facility to expand its pilot-testing capabilities.
New Incubator and Refrigerator
The purchase of a new incubator will allow WCWC to store water samples at a precise temperature, accurately mimicking real-life conditions for simulated distribution system testing. An additional laboratory refrigerator will allow WCWC to store larger volumes of sample water, something that has been critical as WCWC continues to take on more pilot- and bench-scale projects.
Rapid Small Scale Column Test
WCWC recently constructed a rapid small scale column test (RSSCT) apparatus that will allow staff to quantify contaminant treatment and estimate adsorption capacity of media in a shortened timeframe while using much less water. Using a scaled filter bed with ground down media, the long-term treatment effectiveness and lifespan of filter media can be estimated. The RSSCT has already been in great demand and produced reliable results. Work is underway to construct a second RSSCT unit, which will enable WCWC to run multiple tests simultaneously.
WCWC has procured two new stirred cell test units, which will enable proof-of-concept testing on ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis membranes. Stirred cells are scaled membrane filtration systems used for bench-scale testing. These units use pressurized nitrogen gas to move sample water through the membrane, something previously unachievable on the bench-scale due to extremely small membrane pore sizes. The stirred cell test units have successfully been used in pilot testing projects and upgrades are underway to allow the use of higher-pressure nitrogen gas lines to run nanofiltration tests.
A new ion chromatography (IC) machine had been installed in the laboratory. Ion chromatography is the measurement of ionic species (anions and cations) in a sample volume. The IC machine is capable of testing 15 water quality parameters (fluoride, chloride, nitrite, nitrate, sulfate, bromide, ortho-phosphate, bromate, chlorate, chlorite, sodium, ammonium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium). WCWC had performed traditional wet chemistry tests for some of these parameters and outsourced others. Use of the IC machine will result in significant time and cost savings, while yielding more precise results. The ability to perform IC on-site will provide WCWC with a wealth of information regarding the composition of source water and allow it to perform pilot- and bench-scale testing more effectively.
These exciting new additions will help WCWC better serve the needs of Ontario’s communities as they look to optimize and improve their drinking water systems.