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Manual of Practice for the Use of Computer Models for the Design of Reverse Osmosis/Nanofiltration Membrane Processes

Manual of Practice for the Use of Computer Models for the Design of Reverse Osmosis/Nanofiltration Membrane Processes

DeMichele, Don, Tom Seacord, and Justin Sutherland
Published In: 
Texas Water Development Board - Final Report,  
January 2014
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality currently considers reverse osmosis as an “innovative” treatment method for the removal of drinking water contaminants from a groundwater source. This definition is the result of an absence of specific requirements in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules that provides design, operation, maintenance, and reporting criteria for a treatment process. Due to the status of brackish groundwater reverse osmosis as an innovative treatment method, any proposed new treatment facility requires the approval of an exception request by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality prior to review of facility plans and specifications. The exception request approval letter establishes the treatment criteria. Title 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 290.42(g) of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules requires that a licensed professional engineer submit an exception request for a proposed brackish groundwater reverse osmosis treatment facility. In the past, an exception request included the requirement of pilot test data, or data collected at similar fullscale operations, to substantiate that the produced water will meet the requirements of Title 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 290, Subchapter F: Drinking Water Standards Governing Water Quality and Reporting Requirements for Public Water Systems. Due to current drought and water scarcity, the prompt commissioning of a new water source is critical. As a response to the need for timely process reviews during a drought period, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, based on stakeholder input, will allow the use of output data from computer modeling software programs in lieu of data obtained from on-site pilot testing to approve a reverse osmosis membrane systems. The purpose of this document is to establish a standard of care for the use of computer models to develop design criteria for reverse osmosis and nanofiltration processes that treat groundwater. The intent is to provide the basic framework from which the design engineer, incorporating sound engineering judgment, may design a reverse osmosis or nanofiltration membrane treatment process using computer models offered by a number of membrane manufacturers. Used properly, computer models have demonstrated that they are an effective tool for the design of membrane treatment processes that provide reliable product water flows and quality.
DeMichele, D., T. Seacord, J. Sutherland. 2014. "Manual of Practice for the Use of Computer Models for the Design of Reverse Osmosis/Nanofiltration Membrane Processes." Texas Water Development Board Final Report. January 2014.