The RGSP will include upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment plant processes. These upgrades include Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration, Reverse Osmosis, and Ultraviolet disinfection with Advanced Oxidation. These process upgrades are referred to as Advanced Treatment and they are in use throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Read more about how Advanced Treatment is being used here.
In addition to the process upgrades, the RGSP will also require injection wells to recharge the groundwater basin with purified water and a piping network to carry the purified water from the advanced treatment process to the injection wells. Read more about how the process works here.
The RGSP proposes the following facilities to bring purified recycled water to the Five Cities communities.
- – Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration
- – Reverse Osmosis
- – Ultraviolet disinfection with Advanced Oxidation
- – Injection wells
- – Purified water pipelines
Advanced Treatment Water Cycle
How Do Does it Work?
The Advanced Treatment Process includes three stages of proven engineered treatment processes in addition to the current WWTP processes. The resulting purified water will meet or exceed strict state and federal drinking water standards, and will be purer than most bottled waters.
During the treatment process, purified water is tested in real time with online sensors and the quality will be strictly monitored by treatment operators and the State’s Department of Drinking Water.
To provide even more safety, the water will be injected into the groundwater aquifer and will remain underground for several months before being extracted at drinking water wells. This will provide plenty of time for additional water quality testing to ensure that the water is safe before it reaches the extraction wells.
Each injection well will also be paired with two monitoring wells to track water levels and water quality once the water is injected into the groundwater basin.
Purified water is currently used to supplement drinking water supplies in many communities in the United States and around the world and there have been no problems from using purified water to supplement drinking water supplies. To learn more about similar projects check out our Water Recycling: At Home and Abroad page.
Advanced Treatment in a Three Stage Process: Microfiltration + RO + UV/AO + Process. Read more about the Advanced Treatment Process here.
Advanced treatment starts with Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration (MF/UF), a pretreatment process, where water is pumped through tubes filled with tiny membranes. Each membrane is made up of hollow fibers, perforated with holes 1/300th the width of a human hair. As the water moves through the tubes, solids and bacteria are caught in the fibers.
The water then goes through reverse osmosis where it is forced through membranes that remove salt and microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, and most chemicals of emerging concern.
By now the water is very clean, but one more step ensures its safety: oxidizing the water with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and exposing the water to ultraviolet light breaks down any remaining organic particles.