New clarifier solves Virginia UF membrane problems

Funds from the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) have enabled completion of a new pretreatment system for an ultrafiltration membrane system at the Fairmont Water Filtration Plant in West Virginia.

A new 1.5 MGD (5,700 m³/d) clarifier was recently put online at the end of July. Turbidity in the river water supplying the treatment plant had previously been causing problems for the membranes.

The improvements have been made at a cost of US$ 12.1 million and were mainly financed by US$ 8.8 million of federal funds sanctioned by the EPA, including US$ 4.4 million from the federal recovery act. Upgrades to waste material handling at the plant will eventually eliminate effluent discharge into nearby surface water, decreasing demand on the downstream Fairmont Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Fairmont’s water filtration plant is the fourth-largest publicly-owned water utility in West Virginia. It is designed to meet the water needs of over 50,000 customers in 10 municipalities and four surrounding counties.