Using Membrane Systems for POE Disinfection & Clarification


Until recently, using membranes for whole-house residential clarification and disinfection had not been an option for water treatment dealers. Technical advances made by Zenon Environmental in hollow fiber membrane technology for its large-scale municipal and industrial plants have changed this. Membranes are now being used in the company’s Homespring point-of-entry (POE) systems, providing a cost- effective solution for the removal of turbidity and pathogens, and delivering clear, biologically safe water.

The compact, self-contained Homespring systems are able to supply consistent high quality water at flow rates up to 11 gpm by directing water through microscopic pores on thousands of spaghetti-like ultrafiltration membrane strands. A tightly controlled pore size of 0.02 microns (nominal) ensures quality water by means of mechanical filtration regardless of inlet water quality. The durable nature of the membranes allows the systems to be applied to municipal, well water, surface water or rainwater supplies.

Using existing inlet pressure, water naturally flows through the polymeric walls of the membrane from the outside-in. Pathogens and turbidity are strained out by the membrane walls while clear, disinfected water flows through to the hollow center with virtually no pressure drop. Using the Homespring system is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to both clarify and disinfect water in one step.

The Homespring ultrafiltration units are the first and only POE mechanical water filtration devices to be certified by the Water Quality Association as a microbiological purifier to EPA’s Guide Standard for Microbiological Water Purifiers. They are also certified by NSF and WQA to ANSI/NSF standards 42 and 53, and independently tested and passed by Biovir Laboratories (NELAP and California Department of Health Services approved laboratory).

Dealers can use Homespring systems to offer current customers additional peace of mind and to pursue new customers with a unique, certified technology. The ability of the system to function using various water supplies, even during power outages, gives dealers an opportunity to solve the problems of customers they would not have been able to approach previously with available technologies.

The field applications included in this article offer an overview of benefits of this new technology. Prior to the introduction of the Homespring whole-house ultrafiltration system, dealers would have had to install costly and complex series of technologies to clarify and disinfect their customers’ water. Homespring systems, however, offer a cost-effective, independently tested and certified option.

Field Applications

The owners of a multi- million dollar, 3,500-sq-ft home in Jupiter Island, an exclusive community located 40 miles north of Palm Beach, Fla., were concerned about the purity and safety of their municipally supplied drinking water and disliked the inconvenience of the many boil water advisories declared after each passing hurricane. They wanted a product that could provide safe, purified water to every tap in the home even during a boil water advisory. They selected the Homespring system because of its certified claims, ease of use, low maintenance and the fact that it would continue producing purified water during power outages. A softener and back-washing carbon filter were installed before the Homespring system.

This 3,800-sq-ft Florida home was supplied by well water and already had a softener installed. The dealer was able to return to the customer and offer additional equipment—the Homespring system—to address the owner’s concerns about the safety and purity of his well water.

When building a home in scenic northern New Zealand, the homeowners wanted to source water from a nearby open stream to avoid costly municipal connections. The Homespring system allowed them to provide purified water for every household need and to meet national drinking water regulations.

A local dairy farmer was concerned after a well water test revealed the presence of E.Coli bacteria and turbidity. These can be indicators of fecal contamination and pose a serious risk to milk production equipment during rinses. The family also worried about their health when drinking from the tap, cooking, brushing their teeth or taking a shower. The farm now has a Homespring ultrafiltration unit installed in the pump house. A line runs to the dairy shed to provide rinse water and drinking water that is treated for bacteria, viruses, cysts and turbidity. A separate line runs to the main house to provide treated water for drinking, cooking, bathing and laundry. A third line runs to the guesthouse.

The whole family enjoys peace of mind knowing that a single Homespring whole-house system is supplying safer, unlimited, great-tasting water at every tap.

Ron Ing, P.E. is general manager of Zenon, Consumer Products Div. Ing has a BAS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo. He can be reached at 905.465.3030, or by e-mail at ring@zenon.com. Andrew Warnes is director of international sales and marketing for Zenon, Consumer Products Div. Warnes is the former international director of the Water Quality Association. He can be reached at 847.274.0595, or by e-mail at awarnes@zenon.com.

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