Title page for ETD etd-08162011-135647


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Swarts, Raymond Joseph
Email raymond.swarts@capetown.gov.za
URN etd-08162011-135647
Document Title An investigation into a treatment strategy for the Berg River water at the VoŽlvlei water treatment plant
Degree MSc
Department Chemical Engineering
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof J J Schoeman Supervisor
Keywords
  • VoŽlvlei raw water
  • VoŽlvlei water treatment plant
  • Berg River water
Date 2011-09-08
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Since the demand for fresh potable water increases every year, it is important to have future water demand strategies in place. People expect a secure, high quality, water supply and the water supply industry is governed by increasingly stringent water quality guidelines and legislation. The Cape Metropolitan Area (CMA) faces the challenge of an increasing demand for fresh water in excess of the existing supply. The City is responsible for the planning and development of the local water supply resources as well as managing the water demand in the CMA and to supplement the water supply to the City of Cape Town from local sources. The ĎVoŽlvlei Augmentation Schemeí was identified as one of the options to augment the water supply to the CMA. This option would involve pumping winter water from the Berg River via a pipeline to the VoŽlvlei water treatment plant (WTP).

The VoŽlvlei WTP was designed to treat water from the adjacent VoŽlvlei Dam. This VoŽlvlei WTP raw water has a higher turbidity and a lower colour in comparison to the Berg River water. The plantís treatment conditions were optimized to remove this high turbidity. The VoŽlvlei WTP raw water also contains a relatively high manganese concentration and coagulation therefore occurs at a high pH with ferric sulphate to remove the manganese during the initial stages of the water treatment process. As the quality of the Berg River water is different to that of the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water, it might not be possible to treat the Berg River water at the VoŽlvlei WTP using the plants current treatment parameters. The Berg River water could possibly be blended with the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water before treatment at the WTP. If the Berg River water, or its blends, could not be treated at the VoŽlvlei WTP using the plants current treatment parameters, then this water would have to be pre-treated before entering the plant. Various forms of pre-treatment could be used, e.g., conventional water treatment using either aluminium or ferric sulphate as primary coagulants or ion-exchange water treatment using the MIEXģ resin or even a combination of both.

The main objective of this study was to determine a treatment strategy for the Berg River water at the VoŽlvlei WTP. It is therefore important to determine if the Berg River water could be treated at the VoŽlvlei WTP using the current treatment regime. Also, if the Berg River water should be blended with the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water, this study would determine which blend would be the most suited for treatment at the VoŽlvlei WTP. If the Berg River water could not be treated directly at the VoŽlvlei WTP, a pre-treatment strategy for this water should be determined. The cost of pretreatment of the Berg River water as compared to the cost of direct treatment at the VoŽlvlei WTP should also be evaluated.

In order to determine the best treatment strategy for the Berg River water at the VoŽlvlei WTP, it was important to sample the Berg River water and the Voelvlei WTP raw water at regular intervals over a period of at least a year to determine its quality and the impact of seasonal changes. Various laboratory physical (e.g., turbidity) and chemical (e.g., total alkalinity) analyses were conducted on the Berg River water and VoŽlvlei WTP raw water to determine its quality. The experimental procedure focused mainly on the Jar test which simulates the coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation processes at the VoŽlvlei WTP. Jar tests were conducted on the Berg River water and the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water using ferric sulphate and aluminium sulphate as coagulants to determine the optimum pH and optimum coagulant dosage concentration for each coagulant. The Berg River water was also blended with the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water in three different proportions and Jar tests were conducted on these blends using ferric sulphate as the coagulant at a coagulation pH of 5.0 and a Fe3+ dosage of 5.0 mg/L. Jar tests were also conducted on these blends with the VoŽlvlei WTP treatment parameters using ferric sulphate as the coagulant at a coagulation pH of 9.2 and a Fe3+ dosage of 3.5 mg/L.

The analytical results showed a similar pattern for the characterization of the Berg River water and the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water. The iron and aluminium concentrations were consistently low during the summer months with significant increases during the winter months. There were no significant seasonal impact on the UV absorbance and colour. The Jar test results of the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water and the Berg River water with ferric sulphate as the coagulant showed an optimum Fe3+dosage of 3.0 to 4.0 mg/L and 4.0 to 6.0 mg/L, respectively, with an optimum coagulation pH range of 6.6 to 9.5 and 5.0 to 10.0, respectively. The Jar test results of the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water and the Berg River water with aluminium sulphate as the coagulant showed an optimum Al3+ dosage of 2.5 to 3.0 mg/L and 4.0 to 5.0 mg/L, respectively, with an optimum coagulation pH of 6.0 to 7.0 and 6.0, respectively. The Jar test results obtained for all 3 blends were similar to each other. The UV absorbance of the treated water was consistently below the operational specification, while the turbidities were inconsistent and did not always comply with the SANS 241:2006 Specification (Class I) for drinking water. The iron of the treated water was also consistently above the specified value of <0.200 mg/L. The Jar tests conducted on all 3 blends, with the VoŽlvlei WTP treatment parameters, also yielded similar results. The UV absorbance of the treated water was consistently above the maximum operational specification of 0.100, while the turbidities were also consistently above the SANS 241:2006 Specification of <1 NTU.

Both ferric sulphate and aluminium sulphate can be used as coagulants to treat the Berg River water, although ferric sulphate would be the preferred choice due to its wide coagulation pH range and also because of differences in their health effects. The VoŽlvlei WTP coagulates at a pH of 9.2 to remove turbidity and any manganese that might be present in the raw water. The manganese would not be removed at the low coagulation pH of aluminium sulphate. The specified treatment parameters, including the VoŽlvlei WTP treatment parameters, used in treating the raw water blends were not effective and further investigation and research is necessary to determine its optimum treatment parameters.

This study concluded that the Berg River water cannot be effectively treated at the VoŽlvlei WTP using the plants treatment parameters, even if it is blended with the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water. Therefore, the best treatment strategy for the Berg River water at the VoŽlvlei WTP would be pre-treatment of the water before entering the VoŽlvlei WTP.

Although there are various ways of pre-treating the Berg River water, this study has identified the following possible pre-treatment strategies:

  • pre-treatment with ferric sulphate and lime
  • pre-treatment with ferric sulphate and lime in conjunction with MIEXģ resin
  • pre-treatment with MIEXģ resin only
Further research and investigation would be necessary to determine the best pretreatment strategy in terms of cost and efficiency. The pre-treated Berg River water would have to pass through the VoŽlvlei WTP treatment process (i.e. high coagulation pH) to remove any manganese that might be present in the water.

It is recommended that more samples should be taken at various points along the Berg River upstream of the VoŽlvlei WTP over a longer period of time to compare the quality of water at these points in the river and also to monitor the effect of various run-off sites. Further research and investigation is necessary to determine the optimum treatment parameters for the Berg River water when blended with the VoŽlvlei WTP raw water. Other blending ratios, different to those used in this study, should also be investigated. A more in-depth investigation is also necessary to determine the actual capital and operational costs for the pre-treatment of the Berg River water.

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Swarts, RJ 2010, An investigation into a treatment strategy for the Berg River water at the VoŽlvlei water treatment plant, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08162011-135647/ >

C11/9/130/ag

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