Industrial Reverse Osmosis Plants
Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is used in a large number of commercial and industrial applications where low mineral content is required.
A large number of bottled water companys use Reverse Osmosis to produce their water, as RO will remove the widest range of contaminants from water.
Reverse Osmosis membranes filter water down to 0.0001 removing bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, calcium, flouride, viruses, salts and other substances from water.
Please note that the RO Plants are not kept in stock, and are only Manufactured as required.
The Source water
- An important part of selecting the correct RO plant is determining what source water you want to use (e.g. Municipal, or borehole).
- It is strongly recommended that before purchasing any system you have the source water tested, even if it is municipal as this will identify what problems are present and need to be address. Having the water tested is also a requirement for most industries involved with water.
- Having the water tested will also determine what sort of pre-filtration will be required.
RO Plant flow ratings
- The production rating of all the RO plants is based on a ideal quality source water, so in situations with low to poor quality source water the actual flow rate produced by a RO plant can be as low as 30 to 70 % of the actual rated capacity
- Please also note that during flushing procedures the RO plant will require 3 times the rated output of the RO from the source . (For example a 250 litre per RO plant will require a minimum flow rate of 750 Litres per hour from the source).
- Keep in mind that none of the RO plants are not designed to be or should be run 24 hours a day, as this will lead to damage of both the components and membranes. When selecting an RO plant ensure that the rated flow rate is high enough that you can produce the desired amount over a limit number of hours (for example 8 hours) and the RO plant can then be shut off.
- As the RO process filters water to such a fine level , the membranes need to flush themselves as they run to remove the containments and minerals caught on them. This flushing results in waste water, which will go straight down the drain.
- On the smaller size industrial RO plants the waste water to product water ratio is typically between 1:1 and 2:1. So for every 1 Litre produced by the reverse Osmosis plant between 1 to 2 litres will be used to flush the membranes and goes down the drain.
- With the large scale RO plants the waste water to product water is typically between 1:2 and 1:1. So for every 1 litre of product water produced by the plant between .5 to 1 litre of water is used to flush the membranes and goes down the drain.
- Please keep in mind that the exact waste water to product water ratio will depend on a number of factors such as the quality of the source water and what quality of product water you are trying to produce. Normally the lower the TDS you are trying to produce from the RO plant, the high the waste water ratio will be.
Product water quality
Typically with most municipal supplies the Industrial RO plants should produce a product water with a TDS of less 10. However, please note that this will depend on the quality and TDS of the source water.
Source water buffer tanks
In situations where the source water line is not able to supply water at a fast enough rate to feed the industrial RO system, a source water buffer tank will be needed.
The source water tank creates a surplus of source water that the RO plant can directly draw from, while the tank is topped up from the main source.
Keep in mind that in situations where chlorine dosing is done, a source water tank will also be required.
Normal jo-jo tanks can be used as source water storage tanks, the size of the source water tanks needed will depend on a number of factors:
- Size of the RO plant
- Source water quality and flow rate
- Number of hours the RO plant will be running.
*Please note that the RO Plants do not come standard with any tanks.
Product water tanks
In cases where the RO plant can not produce the water directly at the required rate a product water storage tank will be required, where the product water can then be drawn from to use.
*Please note that the RO plants do not come standard with a product water tank.
Pre-filtration for RO plants
As stated the pre-filtration before any Reverse Osmosis Plant will entirely depend on the quality of the source water.
The main purpose of pre-filtration is to help protect the RO membranes and in some cases take a large amount of the load off the membrane to increase the life span of the membrane.
The size of the pre-filtration will also depend on the flow rating of the RO plant, keep in mind that the source water will have to provide water at 3 times the capacity of the RO plant (250 LPH RO needs 750 Litres per hour from Source). As a result the Pre-filtration must be sized to handle the source water flow rate.
The Disc Filter (55 Micron)
The Disc filter is ideal for water sources that have high turbidity levels, in other words lots of dirt, sediment and mud.
The disc filter filters to 55 microns.
The disc filter will remove any large sediment, dirt, rust, sand and other large visible particles in the water.
The disc filter will also help to extend the life span of your finer particle filters.
The disc filter’s cartridge is made of a durable plastic and is reusable, and once it becomes full you simply open the housing, remove the cartridge, wash it under a tap and then replace it in the housing.
5 micron Sediment Filter
The 5 micron sediment filter captures fine particles, such as dust, rust, dirt and other fine visible particles.
In situations where a carbon filter is used, the 5 micron also helps to keep fine particles from blocking up the carbon filter.
The 5 micron sediment filter is a standard pre-filter used in most situations.
Activated Carbon Block filter
Activated carbon absorbs chlorine and organic molecules in water, this removes most bad tastes and smells form the water.
The Reverse Osmosis membranes are very sensitive to chlorine, so it must be removed. Thus on municipal source water or water where chlorine dosing is taking place a carbon block filter is a required pre-filtration.
1 Micron Sediment Filter
The 1 Micron Sediment filter captures fine particles, the 1 micron sediment filter also helps to capture some bacteria in water helping to take some of the load off of the RO membranes.
The 1 micron sediment filter is a standard pre-filter used in most situations.
The water softener is required for situations where the source water has a very high Hardness Level (Calcium / kalk / lime). While a Reverse Osmosis membrane will help to remove the hardness, it is very tough on the membrane and will reduce the life time of the membrane by a great deal.
To help extend the life span of the Reverse Osmosis plant's membranes a water softener would be added before the RO plant.
The water softener removes the hardness by exchanging the lime in the water for normal coarse salt. The salt is easier for the RO membrane to deal with, and does not have as hard an impact on the life span of the membrane.
The softener needs to run a “regeneration” cycle on a regular basis, which can be automatically set on the unit’s valve. During the “regeneration cycle” the softener backwashes the resin, removing the lime and magnesium caught inside. The Softener then draws salt from the brine tank to recoat the resin, the softener is then ready for the filtration cycle. The frequency of the regeneration cycles will depend on the hardness level and the flow rate.
The Salt inside the brine tank is just the normal coarse salt, which can be purchased from any builder’s warehouse or pool shop. How often the salt needs to be replaced, will depend on how often the regeneration cycle is run.
The resin inside the vessel should last for between 3 - 5years, depending on the quality of the water source.
Stainless Steel Ultra Violet Lights
In situations where the source water has a high bacteria count, it is recommend to reduce the bacterial count before the water reaches the RO plant.
The risk with high bacteria counts is that is can cause "biofouling" on the RO membrane, which is when there is so much bacteria that the membrane can not flush it all off its surface. The bacteria then begin to eat through the RO membrane redering it useless.
One way of reducing the bacteria count before it reachs your RO system is to place an Stainless Steel Ultra Violet (UV) light before it. The UV light kills a large amount of the bacteria in the water, reducing the load the RO has to deal with.
Ideally you want a UV light with a flow rating higher than the actual flow require, to help the UV light kill as much bacteria as possible.
Keep in mind the UV light must be placed after a 5 or 1 micron sediment filter, to prevent shadowing which is when the bacteria hide behide particles and the UV light is unable to kill them.
In situations with very high bacteria counts we normally recommend chlorine dosing to bring the bacteria counts down by a large amount to reduce the effect on the RO membranes.
Keep in mind that in order for chlorine dosing to be effective the chlorine has to have an extended exposure time with the water. The longer the chlorine is exposed to the water, the more bacteria will be killed.
This means that a storage tank will be required to give the chlorine enough time with the water.
Remeber the higher the bacteria count the longer the exposure time, so you will need to ensure that the tank is large enough to give the require amount of time.
Premium KDF cartridge
The Premium KDF cartridge works very much like a normal carbon filter removing chlorine and organic molecules. However, unlike a normal carbon filter the KDF also removes some heavy metals and inhibits the growth of bacteria on it's surface which extends it's life span.
The KDF cartridge is recommended over the normal cabon filter in stiuations where there are bacteria counts.
Types of RO Plants
The Type of RO plant required will depend a lot of the mineral content otherwise know as the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) levels.
"Tap water" Industrial RO plants
- These are the types of RO plants used in situations where there is a low mineral or TDS level.
- These types of RO plants should be used in situations where the source water's TDS ranges from 100 to 500.
"Brackish" water RO plants
- Brackish water RO plants are used in situations where the source water has a very high mineral content or TDS level.
- The Brackish water RO plants should be used in situations where the source water's TDS ranges from 500 to 4000.
- Keep in mind that due to the high TDS these RO plants are dealing with, the waste water levels will be higher than in situations where the TDS is lower.
RO Plant Construction
- Reverse Osmosis Plants are not kept in stock and are built as required, the construction lead time varies depending on the size and whether the unit is being built locally or overseas.
- The RO Plants come with built in TDS meter, Pressure Gauges, flush valves, flow rate gauges and pressure pumps.
- The RO plants are built on to either a mild steel or stainless steel frame, depending on where it is constructed.
- Please note that larger RO plants than those listed below are avaliable, please contact us for a quotation on larger RO plants.
Locally Built RO plants
- Frames made of Mild Steel
- Internal Pipe work standard PVC piping.
- All RO plants priced below are locally manufacture Plants
- Lead time of 2 to 4 weeks for construction depending on the size of the RO plant
Imported RO Plants
- Frames made of stainless steel.
- Lead time 2 to 4 months for construction and shipping.
How To Setup The System