As part of a river water clarification process that provides treated water for cooling, steam generation, process water and utilities needs, a large Gulf Coast chemical manufacturer was using a solid-contact, settling-type clarifier, operating at 2,500 gal/min with peak flow rates to 3,200 gal/min, to remove suspended and colloidal matter.

The system was due for major maintenance during the next planned production outage, but an unexpected failure of the sludge rake drive system occurred before the scheduled downtime, requiring swift emergency repairs to avoid production loss due to a lack of treated water.

GE Water & Process Technologies, Trevose, Pa., supplied a temporary trailer-mounted filter system to operate during the repair outage so production of clarified water could be maintained during repairs. The system included eight MobileFlow trailer-enclosed filter units, each containing six pressure vessels loaded with dual media. A coagulant chemical was added to the system influent; filtration occurred in down-flow mode; and periodic backwash was performed to remove suspended solids to waste.

Field service representatives supplied by GE operated the temporary treatment system so the chemical manufacturer’s personnel could concentrate on the repair project, which took a total of 10 days. During this time, the temporary filter system produced more than 40 million gallons of clarified water to meet the plant’s production and utility requirements as well as clarified water to satisfy contractual commitments to a neighboring plant.

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