Ionics, Incorporated was awarded the contract to build a new 15 million gallon per day (mgd) ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system for the City of Eagle Pass, Texas. The new UF system, which will replace an aging conventional treatment facility, will treat surface water from Rio Grande so as to meet regulatory requirements of the Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule. The plant is expected to be operational in 2004.
The Board of the Eagle Pass Water Works System unanimously selected the Ionics UF system over several competitive offerings. The membrane system utilizes pressurized, "inside-out" hollow fiber membranes manufactured by Norit, whereas the competitive designs called for submersible systems. In awarding the project, the engineers stressed that an important factor in the decision was the significant operating experience with Norits X-Flow membranes on municipal water systems, including over 7 years of experience on municipal water systems and more than 140 mgd of capacity currently in operation.
"Eagle Pass is looking forward to moving from the conventional treatment system, which has been in use for over half a century, into the new Ionics membrane system," according to Eagle Pass Water Works Director, Robert Gonzalez.
"Of particular concern in the process used to select Ionics was the requirement for simplicity of operation and dependability of the treatment process. Since the membrane system will be new to the operators, simplicity will make the transition from conventional to membrane treatment more acceptable to the operators," Gonzalez added.
"Ionics has been supplying membrane systems to municipalities in Texas for more than 15 years, and we are delighted to add this large UF system for the City of Eagle Pass to our growing list of municipal installations," according to Ionics North American Municipal Sales Manager, Alden Whitney.
Ionics has an exclusive agreement with Norit to supply UF systems for municipal systems greater than 10 mgd in the US and Canada. Under this agreement, Ionics is supplying UF systems for a range of applications including for small and large communities, water use applications, pretreatment for RO, and other industrial water and wastewater treatment applications. Currently under construction is the new 70 mgd treatment facility for the City of Minneapolis, the largest UF system for drinking water in the United States.
Norits UF membranes will also be used in the 100 mgd membrane system that is part of a BOO contract with the Government of Kuwait to treat municipal effluent for reuse. Ionics is participating in this project as a 25 percent equity participant in the project company; as the designer and supplier of the UF-RO membrane system; and as an operator of the membrane portion of the facility over the 27.5 contract period.