The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Finance Center, in collaboration with the...
This column will discuss well ozone water treatment for residential, commercial and industrial applications. Well ozone water treatment systems for the removal of
Iron, sulfur and manganese are the easiest water problems to eliminate when using an ozone system. This, of course, is made possible by the oxidation power of ozone. The oxidation process will take place, and contaminate elimination will occur if the system is sized properly.
The main factors to consider are the big three.
You will notice I use the words "ozone systems," not just "ozone." The reason is that ozone is merely a gas that accomplishes the oxidation process. Oxidation is the first step of three that must be followed in order to be successful.
The ozone process works in three simple steps.
The main advantage for the consumer using ozone over chlorine is the absence of hazardous chlorine byproducts, storage of hazardous chemicals, absence of chemical odors, and lack of constant replenishment of the chlorine feeder. Trying to oxidize/kill iron bacteria, sulfur bacteria or manganese (as well as any microorganisms) with chlorine is difficult and requires extreme amounts of free chlorine. This leads to dramatically increase ongoing costs as well as a highly toxic water value.
Air injection is fraught with difficulties. While it is an inexpensive treatment method, it cannot be used on high iron and sulfur amounts and when iron or sulfur bacteria is present.
Iron and sulfur bacteria will grow when in the presence of air. This leads to pipe, media and equipment clogging. Manganese is more difficult and resistant to air oxidation.
Safety is another issue. How can you determine that the air you are injecting into your customers water is safe? You cannot when using a simple air injector system. Anything in the air (dust, dirt, mold, bacteria, odors, etc.) around the injector gets sucked or pumped into the water. Ozone is a sterilizer and it will kill any air borne microbes prior to being injected into the water.
To review the overall process: Ozone creates larger particles of iron, sulfur, and manganese by means of oxidation. The larger particles become insoluble (separated from the water) and are easily filtered. The off gassing releases the excess ozone, air and odors. Filtration is the last step necessary for removing the oxidized particles.
Next month's column will discuss the fine points of selling ozone systems.