In Mayskiy Pavlodar, a region in the northern part of Kazakhstan, they needed to increase their water supply by 4150 m3/day.
The available water source was a 75 meter deep groundwater well containing high amounts of Iron (Fe) and Manganese (Mn) exceeding 12 mg/l. It was decided to use ultra-filtration (UF) membranes to ensure an absolute barrier against bacteria and turbidity. To make conventional UF membranes function with such high amounts of Fe and Mn in the water, extensive membrane cleaning and backwashing would be required; resulting in 5 per cent water losses, which would require installation of a recovery system to comply with local regulations. For that reason, the local system integrator investigated alternative solutions and came across a unique ceramic membrane module. A total of 288 m2 ceramic membranes in 48 modules were installed in the membrane area of the treatment process chain. These can operate with high solids loading, with no pre-treatment whilst providing less than 1 per cent water losses, essentially treating the water in one step with no need for a recovery system. This also saved the customer more than 80 per cent of the energy consumption, when compared to conventional UF membrane systems.