Pilot Testing of the Center Port Vessel Design in Jupiter, Fla.

By Ian C. Watson, PE, Paul Jurczak, Charles Harris, and Steven J. Duranceau, Ph.D., PE.


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The Town of Jupiter, Fla., is planning for the construction of a 17.0 million gallons per day (mgd) nanofiltration (NF) plant at its Central Boulevard complex. At this site, the town already operates a 13.7 mgd brackish groundwater reverse osmosis (RO) plant, and a 13.5 mgd lime softening plant, together with a 1.8 mgd ion exchange (IX) system, which removes organics from a shallow groundwater side stream for reduction of the trihalomethane (THM) and haloacetic acids (HAA) formation potential. As part of the planning effort for the NF plant, it was suggested by Jupiter that investigations be made into the feasibility of using center port vessels for the NF units, since there appeared to be a significant potential for energy savings. The VE team and the design consultant looked into the potential for energy savings for the center port design. They also investigated any special process features that might prevent the success of the design. As part of this work, actual operating experience in the Netherlands was reviewed, and the membrane supplier for the Netherlands plants was contacted to provide additional insight. This article will describe the 8-inch (in) pilot operation, for both feed modes (center and end), discuss the operational results, including the decision to incorporate a sand filter as additional pretreatment ahead of the cartridge filter. Translating the pilot data to full-scale design will also be addressed.

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