GE reuse pack ends power plant’s drinking water use in cooling

A Pennsylvania power plant has ended its use of 6.5 Ml/d of drinking water in cooling after installing GE Power and Water’s advanced water reuse technology.

Covanta Delaware Valley’s 90 MW energy-from-waste facility in Chester, Pennsylvania has upgraded its cooling system to enable it to use treated discharge water from a nearby municipal wastewater treatment plant instead of taking local drinking water supplies. Using GE’s RePAK combination ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) system as a tertiary treatment package has enabled Covanta to reduce its operating costs and end its 6.5 Ml/d depletion of local drinking water resources.

GE installed two RePAK-450 trains, each producing 2,250 l/min of purified water. “By installing GE’s water treatment technology, we are able to reuse the nearby wastewater treatment plant’s wastewater effluent that otherwise would have been directly discharged, enabling us to save over a million gallons per day in drinking water for local residents rather than using it for industrial purposes. Not only are we reducing the stress on local drinking supplies, but also the environmental impacts of the wastewater treatment plant and the use of potable water by our facility,” said facility manager at Covanta Delaware Valley,Tim Gregan, .

GE’s RePAK equipment was delivered and commissioned in 2014 to make Covanta Delaware Valley the first North American company to deploy GE’s RePAK technology.

“This project highlights the significant economic and environmental benefits that North American industrial companies can achieve when they decide to make an investment in water reuse technologies,” said GE Power & Water general manager, Yuvbir Singh.

Covanta chose a combined treatment technology approach with UF pretreatment and RO desalination because the organic and dissolved mineral content of the wastewater required additional treatment to be suitable for use in a cooling tower.

GE’s RePAK combined treatment system reduced the equipment footprint by up to 65% as compared to separate UF and RO systems according to its manufacturer. GE said that by combining the UF and RO into a common frame with common controls and a single multi-functional process tank, it was able to reduce the capital costs and field installation expenses compared to the use of separate UF and RO systems with multiple process and cleaning tanks.