Oct. 6th, 2017
Greenwood CPW led innovation for the State of South Carolina with the first RE~MIN PROCESS installation. Already achieving a Phase IV status for operations, Dr. David Tuck, WTP Superintendent, saw the need to improve the LSI and DIC in the distribution system. System Startup is scheduled within the next month.
After years of running a CAL~FLO System, Newport Utilities found an additional way to improve their water quality: The RE~MIN PROCESS.
Newport improved their Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) numbers from 5 to 10, Langlier (LSI) from a negative -1.2 to +0.038, and was able to add an additional 37 parts of hardness in the water without having any negative turbidity issues.
How did the city do this? By adding CO2. Learn more here.
The City of Labelle had some issues. They had recently switched their treatment facilities from Lime Softening to Reverse Osmosis. Their distribution lines were loaded with calcium carbonate scale from years of Lime Softening Treatment. They shouldn't have to do anything to stabilize the water, right?
Wrong. Within six months the aggressive low-alkalinity water had consumed all of the calcium carbonate in the distribution lines, and they were already experiencing red water issues. That was when Water Superintendent Joe Thomas found the solution. Within six weeks of installation, we received word from Joe that their red water issues were gone!
How do you handle your low alkalinity water? Learn more here.
This March, the EPA released a document called "Optimal Corrosion Control Techniques," which laid out some basic principles in corrosion control strategies, and introduced some newer terms into the vocabulary for Corrosion Control, which is DIC, or Dissolved Inorganic Carbon as a prediction for corrosiveness of water.
We have put together a great 25-minute presentation that walks through these new suggestions, options on the market for water stabilization, introduces the RE~MIN PROCESS, as well as shows case studies to back up our research. This webinar will be a great tool to help your utility develop a long-term strategy for corrosion control.
If you are with an engineering firm, we'll cover your lunch too!
What is Calcium Bicarbonate?
First, let's look at what Calcium Bicarbonate is not. Calcium Bicarbonate is not Lime. Lime helps form Calcium Bicarbonate, but it is distinctly different. Lime has different compositions, whether it is Calcium Carbonate (Limestone), Calcium Oxide (Quick Lime), or Calcium Hydroxide (Hydrated Lime). Calcium Bicarbonate is created using CO2 gas, liquid Calcium Hydroxide, and Mixing. This process is known as the RE~MIN Process, for Remineralization.
Calcium Bicarbonate only exists in liquid form. It is totally soluble. This is where the value is.
Calcium Bicarbonate, much like Sodium Bicarbonate, adds alkalinity to the water. The difference between the two, and the economic value between the two is the fact that Calcium Bicarbonate adds Hardness, which is a critical component in achieving a positive LSI (Langelier Saturation Index). Water that has a 0 to slightly positive LSI (around +0.05 to +0.2) is not aggressive or corrosive. Water with these qualities wouldn't corrode pipes like we have just seen in Flint, Michigan.
Another huge benefit is the cost. Sodium Bicarbonate usually runs around $520/liquid ton compared to around 14 to 15% less per liquid ton for CAL~FLO, depending on freight. With the RE~MIN Process, CO2, Lime, and mixing can replace Sodium Hydroxide ($400-600/ton), Sodium Bicarbonate, reduce Orthophosphates, and still create better water for less costs. This is the future of Water Stabilization. Some Utilities can see a 60% reduction in Chemical costs.
How does your current method compete, cost wise compared to the RE~MIN Process?
If you enjoy listening to curse words, find the closest water plant near you that uses a dry lime silo or bag lime, and ask them how much they love it. They don't. Very rarely have I ever met anyone who just loves feeding dry lime. They absolutely hate it.
Water Utilities like Lime (either Calcium Oxide or Calcium Hydroxide) for the fact that it is cheap, and for what it can potentially do with the water by adding pH, alkalinity, and hardness. This is important for various functions within the treatment process, as well as stabilizing the water as it enters the water distribution lines.
What they hate about it is how tough it is to feed consistently, how it's constantly clogging, and the high O&M cost associated with the day-to-day operations continually cleaning those feed lines, clear wells, as well as the constant malfunctions on the feed equipment. It is the operators nightmare. This is also something that has been severely overlooked by many design firms that put in equipment. The engineers are not the ones working on the pumps when they break down!
This is 2016 though, right? Isn't there someone who has figured how to make this work? Yes!
Burnett Lime figured out how to make liquid lime, patenting the CAL~FLO System in 1992, and we still have our first systems running with the same pump, tank, and mixer, 24 years later. We manufacture the equipment, and we manufacture the slurry. We guarantee it to work! After 250 installations throughout the US, we are now the standard for any liquid lime feed system. It works, and if it doesn't, we fix it fast.
So is it really possible? Can you feed a lime product and have a system that is guaranteed to work? Yes, of course it is with the CAL~FLO Systems and Slurry, but we have had to challenge several false assumptions that people held (and still hold today) about the nature of lime.
One of the first big misconceptions about lime is, "Will it plug/clog/scale in the system?" In a lime silo, most likely it will. If you have another liquid lime system that is just a tank and a pump, for sure you will have feed problems. The CAL~FLO system has a modified tank, where you will not have any sediment or clogging in the tank.
Another misconception is with pump placement. When we see a design with a pump farm separated from the tanks, we know it will be an epic fail. The utility will eventually call us to bring in our test unit while they clean up their mess. Afterwards, many times they just switch to CAL~FLO all the way.
Another major misconception is the movement of slurry in the feed line. Previous technology believes that lime needs to move 6ft./second to not settle. CAL~FLO only moves inches....but it pulses 150 times/sec. We can push our CAL~FLO over 1200 feet with no clogs! Can your lime do that?
Have you ever seen Calcium Scale? If you live in an area where water is naturally harder, you have probably seen limestone buildup on shower heads, cookware, or a heater element. It can be very aggravating to deal with.
On another level, some public utilities also have to deal with scaling issues in the distribution system. Utilities that have poor control over their lime feed systems, or naturally hard waters, it is possible that the calcium scale can form to a point where it will slowly clog up the line, just like your arteries would clog if you continually eat unhealthy food.
Having very low calcium is a problem is well in distribution water. With naturally soft waters, you open yourself to corrosive water issues like that in Flint Michigan. Had they used a corrosion inhibitor or the RE~MIN Process, they wouldn't be in the news today.
So how do you control scale? And can it actually be good?
"Scaling in pipes can be classified as a very bad buzzword," says Hugh Burnett, VP of Burnett, Inc. "But if you look at it in another way, you can make a micro-film, or a micro-layer to protect the piping from Lead and Copper and red water issues."
"Forming a calcium carbonate saturation, just a thin layer, this is typically achieved by forming a slightly positive Langelier Saturation Index (LSI)." Hugh added, "Again, the factors affecting this is hardness, bicarbonate alkalinity, and pH. Those factors, along with balanced water and plant optimization, you can get a positive scale, but not one that is larger, that will build up and eventually close a pipe."
What is your strategy for protecting your water distribution infrastructure? Learn more about his new patented technology here.
Since there has been such an uproar in recent weeks about Flint, Michigan, and a slew of voices coming out to condemn this utility and the government for having allowing polluted water to pass into the system, I wanted to take a few moments to discuss the misconceptions from so many people on the internet about Lead and Copper. This is a problem that many utilities face, but the problem is not in the source water. The problem is the pipes themselves, and the corrosivity of the treated water that is being released.
Hugh Burnett talks about this issue in the video above. "The basics on Lead and Copper came from a ruling in 1991 where it placed a responsibility on utilities to keep controls on levels of lead and copper. A person could have lead pipes, copper pipes, but it's not their responsibility to keep their levels down, it's the actual supplier of the water.
The limits are as such so that if a utility goes above 10% sampling, and they are out of compliance, they have to go through major steps to get it under control. Lead and Copper is directly linked to a process that we know deals with corrosion control, and if someone is having problems with corrosion control, then they are probably going to have Lead and Copper problems down the line as well."
What is your plan for corrosion control and water stabilization? If you are a public utility, this issue has been magnified given the recent turn of events, this has most likely been put as a priority. Burnett has a free webinar on Water Stabilization, and our newly patented RE~MIN PROCESS which allows you to stabilize water using the most cost effective chemicals on the market. You can register for the free webinar here: http://bit.ly/1KsTusu
How does the newly patented RE~MIN Process compare with caustic? Hugh and Casey traveled with the pilot test unit to test in Ft. Myers, Florida. After running the numbers, not only were we able to reduce the chemical feed by 13%, but we were also able to achieve a positive LSI (Langelier Saturation Index).
The Langelier Saturation Index measure the corrosivity of water. A negative LSI means the water will slowly corrode the pipes. A positive LSI means the water not corrode the pipes. By targeting a zero to slightly positive targest LSI, we can create a thin film of calcium bicarbonate to coat the distribution system, saving millions of dollars for the utility by extending the life of the pipelines.
It's simple chemistry, but it works. What do you think? We have put together a great webinar to explain the process further. To watch it, just click here.