You are on page 1of 8

Membrane Treatment

water for life

Desalination Membrane Bio-reactors

Industrial Water

Water Re-use Softening

Membrane Processes
What advantages do membrane processes offer?
Membrane systems are very versatile and can be used for a wide variety of applications including; filtration, softening, disinfection, organics removal and desalination in compact, automated, modular units.

As well as allowing lower operating costs in many systems, especially when integrated in water re-use schemes, membrane treatment is far superior to conventional filtration plants as the treatment process creates a physical barrier between the contaminants in the feed water and the treated water.

Another significant advantage of a membrane treatment system is that it can be installed in small facilities which can, even in residential neighbourhoods, be discretely blended into the surrounding area.
Membrane Process Characteristics Membrane Application Matrix
Effluent Treatment Water Re-use Desalination Softening MBR MF UF

Microfiltration Ultrafiltration Nanofiltration Water

Reverse Osmosis




Monovalent Salts Multivalent Salts Viruses

Water Reclamation

Colour/Organics Removal Process Water Make-up Nitrate Removal Clarification Cryptosporidium Removal

Suspended Solids


Biwater has over 1,250,000m3/day (330 MGD) installed membrane capacity worldwide
1995 Singapore, 4 MLD 1978 Saudi Arabia, 59 MLD 1977 Qatar, 3 MLD 1998 AZ, USA, 38 MLD 2002 Seychelles, 8.5 MLD 2002 UK, 11 MLD 2003 UK, 17 MLD 2004 FL, USA, 95 MLD 2006 TX, USA, 125 MLD 2005 FL, USA, 145 MLD 2007 FL, USA, 87

1997 UK, 4.7 MLD

2000 FL, USA, 45.5 MLD


1975 UK, 5 MLD

1982 Iraq, 13 MLD

1994 CA, USA, 15.2 MLD

Over 100 Membrane Plants Installed Worldwide

2003 FL, USA, 151 MLD 2006 CA, USA, 57 MLD

Over 1,250 MLD

1990 Norway, 1.2 MLD

1997 CA, USA, 11.4 MLD 2001 CA, USA, 15.1 MLD 1999 FL, USA, 39 MLD

2002 CA, USA, 9.9 MLD

2005 UK, 30 MLD 2007 South Africa, 25 MLD 2006 FL, USA, 158 MLD

World Leaders in Membrane Treatment

Biwater has over four decades experience in the design, procurement, manufacture and construction of membrane systems using microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) or reverse osmosis (RO) to treat seawater, brackish water and municipal wastewater. Currently, Biwater has the largest installed capacity of membranes in the municipal sector in the United States, as well as the largest installed capacity of membrane bio-reactors (MBRs) in the UK. In 2003, Biwater built one of the largest nanofiltration plants in the world (150,000m3/day) and has installed almost 1 million m3/day capacity in membrane treatment since 2000.

Biwater built its first reverse osmosis plant in 1971 and in 1979 built a single 59MLD plant in Buwayb, Saudi Arabia that on its own represented 10% of the Worlds reverse osmosis capacity when built. Since these early plants and due to both the fall in operational costs and Biwaters increased knowledge and expertise, membrane technology has seen rapid progress and cost reduction. These changes have seen many countries around the world embrace this technology. Biwater is unique amongst major membrane treatment plant builders, as it combines its experience in a wide range of membrane applications with a vast knowledge of water and wastewater treatment. Biwater is able to propose the plant to best meet the clients requirements, by selecting either a membrane plant or a conventional system.

Today, we are recognised as one of the premier designers and suppliers of large capacity, state of the art, desalination and nanofiltration systems. In the 1970s Biwater built RO plants that were considered state of the art at the time, however, technology has now moved on and we are able to build plants where energy costs are reduced threefold.

Seawater and Brackish Water Desalination and Softening

With our advanced knowledge of intake and pre-treatment design and operations, which is regarded as one of the most important stages of any RO/NF system, combined with our membrane system expertise, Biwater is able to provide the most economical and advanced treatment plants in the world. Biwater provides custom designed and user specific large scale desalination and softening plants all around the world. We also offer a large range of pre-engineered brackish and seawater package plants that are readily available. Please refer to page 5 of this booklet for further details on our range of package plants.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) Nanofiltration (NF)

Package Plants Large Turnkey Projects Public-Private Partnerships (Concessions, BOO, BOT, BOOT)

Wastewater Re-use
Scarce water resources? Dont waste the wastewater It can be treated to very high standards which can then be used for Irrigation and Industrial Feedwater Allowing more valuable supply for drinking water!

Too valuable to waste

Current environmental changes have shown conclusively that rainfall is becoming increasingly scarce and water is now too valuable a resource to use only once.

Desalination is often chosen to increase water availability, however, a more environmentally sustainable and more economical option is the treatment of municipal wastewater. Treating this wastewater to a higher standard than current drinking water regulations has proven to be more than 40% cheaper than seawater desalination. This has been achieved by the improvements in the treatment of secondary effluent with the advent of large scale ultra and micro filtration systems, followed by low pressure reverse osmosis. For new systems, an even more economical approach is the treatment of wastewater with a membrane bioreactor followed by low pressure reverse osmosis. Today, this process is so advanced that the treated wastewater is of a high enough quality to enable it to be used over and over again.

Complete Solutions
Water Source
Sea Intake River Intake Well Intake

Through our advanced knowledge in Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment, Desalination and Membrane Technologies, we are able to provide complete solutions to your needs. Water Treatment
Pre-treatment Conventional Treatment Reverse Osmosis Desalination UF/MF/NF

Storage and Distribution

Network Pumping Stations Reservoirs Water Asset Management Leakage Detection

Water Re-use

Wastewater Treatment

Conventional Treatment Membrane Bio-Reactors Membrane Treatment High Quality Effluent Irrigation/Industrial Feedwater Sludge Composting (fertiliser)

Network Pumping Stations Industrial Effluents

Wastewater Collection Transmission

Biwaters undoubted strength lies in its diverse and varied range of water-related activities from the Design, Construction and Operation of treatment facilities through to Infrastructure Investment and Consultancy services. Biwater delivers world-class solutions to the water industry.

Membrane Bio-Reactors
High quality final effluent
A Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) is a sewage treatment plant based upon the robust activated sludge process, where a membrane is used to separate the final effluent from the mixed liquor. The membrane is suspended in the mixed liquor and the product is drawn through the membrane with either a pump or in some circumstances a siphon arrangement.

Industrial and domestic sewage waters Physical barrier preventing pollution

The membrane has a very small pore size of less than 0.1 microns which means that the effluent is of an outstanding quality and has typically less than 2mg/l BOD and 1mg/l suspended solids. For carbonaceous treatment only an MBR will achieve this consent within 24 hours, unlike conventional works where the works has to be operational for several days before the final effluent achieves discharge consent. The outstanding effluent quality enables the effluent to be re-used or may permit discharge into sensitive receiving waters. The final effluent quality from an MBR is better than a conventional activated sludge plant comprising Final Settlement Tanks, Tertiary Sand Filters and Ultraviolet Disinfection in terms of suspended solids and BOD. These items of plant require considerable area and it comes as no surprise that an MBR requires significantly less land than a conventional nitrifying works. In some cases only half the land area is required.

High quality effluent

Membrane Bio-Reactors are particularly attractive when treating high strength wastes as the membrane area is determined on the hydraulic throughput and not on the biological load. As the strength increases the aeration tank volume and power increases, therefore, the membrane area, and consequently a significant part of the capital cost, remains fixed. An MBR can be used to relieve overloading of existing sewage works. For example if an MBR was installed to treat high strength sludge liquors, rather than return these to the works inlet the biological load on the aeration system can be greatly reduced. Alternatively if the Final Settlement Tanks were replaced by an MBR the existing works could operate at higher MLSS and higher throughput could be achieved. Typically an MBR operates with a Mixed Liquor concentration of 8,000 to 15,000mg/l and consequently operates at a much longer Sludge Age or Solids Residence Time (SRT) than a conventional works. This results in a significant reduction in sludge production. In some cases sludge production can be 50% of a conventional activated sludge process and with lower organic content.

Low odour

Effluent suitable for irrigation and industrial feedwater

Low sludge production

From MBR package plants which treat flows from 225m3/day to 1440m3/day to large custom built turnkey designs up to 400,000+m3/day. Biwater can provide a total solution for your sanitation and water re-use needs.

A MBR can operate successfully where there are significant seasonal variations in load, for example at a tourist resort.

Good for soil enhancer

Membrane Package Plants

To receive further information and details on our range of membrane plants, please contact your nearest Biwater representative who will be happy to help. Alternatively email

Reverse Osmosis Desalination

Biwaters SM Series for Brackish Water and Seawater Reverse Osmosis Systems are designed and built for rigorous industrial duty operations which demand reliable equipment.

Our BWRO-SM and SWRO-SM Series are completely packaged and assembled in corrosion proof, powder coated, steel skids, which incorporate the latest technology and are factory tested prior to shipment. Feed, power and concentrate are the only required hook-ups and the unit is ready for operation. Biwaters BWRO-SM and SWRO-SM series can also be designed for installation inside ISO containers for quick site installation.

Skid Mounted Brackish RO Package Plants

Model No BW-SM-834 add voltage* _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ CAPACITY (m3/d) 272 545 Recovery 60% 75% 75% 75% 75% 75% 75%

Motor (HP) 20 40 50 60 100 125 150


Length (metres) 6.00 6.00 8.10 8.10 8.10 7.87 7.87 7.87

Width (metres) 1.50 1.78 2.30 2.30 2.30 3.00 3.00 3.00

Height (metres) 2.00 2.00 2.10 2.25 2.50 2.60 2.60 2.60

Approx Weight (kilogrammes) 1,630 2,860 4,050 4,800 12,750 13,500 14,200 5,700

BW-SM-846 BW-SM-866 BW-SM-886 BW-SM-8106

817.5 1,090 1,362 1,635 1,908 2,180

BW-SM-8126 BW-SM-8146 BW-SM-8166


Custom Design Larger Brackish RO Plants 2,500m /day 700,000m /day


Skid Mounted Seawater RO Package Plants

add voltage* _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ CAPACITY (m3/d) 50-66 75-98 35% 36% 36% 40% 40% 40% 40% 40%

Model No

SW-SM-814 SW-SM-823 SW-SM-833 SW-SM-835 SW-SM-844 SW-SM-846 SW-SM-857 SW-SM-886


Motor (HP) 20 50 60 100 125 200 250 75

Length (metres) 4.00 4.60 5.60 5.93 5.93 8.10 8.93 8.10

Width (metres) 1.50 1.50 2.00 2.00 2.31 2.41 2.41 2.51

Height (metres) 1.80 1.80 1.80 1.80 1.92 1.92 2.10 2.10

Approx Weight (kilogrammes) 1,250 2,000 2,285 3,000 3,800 4,550 5,000 5,350

121-148 151-186 189-246 284-371 390-530 568-680

Custom Design Larger Seawater RO Plants 700m3/day 700,000m3/day

Wastewater Treatment Membrane Bio-Reactor

Wastewater Treatment Membrane Bio-Reactor Package Plants
add voltage* _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ FLOW (m3/d) 225 480 1,440 960 No. of Modules 2 2 4 2 AV.Flux l/m2/h 20 20 20 20 Length (metres) _ _ _ _ Model No BI-MBR-225 BI-MBR-480 BI-MBR-960 BI-MBR-1440 Width (metres) _ _ _ _ Height (metres) _ _ _ _ Approx Weight (kilogrammes) _ _ _ _

Custom Design Larger Membrane Bio-Reactor Plants 1,500m3/day 700,000m3/day ORDERING INFORMATION * Please add Voltage Code to the end of the model number when ordering. EXAMPLE: BW-SM-886- 236 = 220/230v/3ph/60 Hz

VOLTAGE CODES: 236 = 220 or 230v / 3ph / 60 Hz 235 = 220v / 3ph / 50 Hz 436 = 460 or 480v / 3ph / 60 Hz 335 = 380v / 3ph / 50 Hz

Case Studies
Boca Raton, Florida
Nanofiltration, 150,000m3/day (40 MGD)

Biwater AEWT completed the new state of the art membrane softening system for the City of Boca Raton, Florida. Delivering approximately 15 million gallons per day of high quality drinking water, the plant is designed to treat shallow ground water with a TDS of approximately less than 500mg/l to remove hardness, colour and other contaminants, to meet Florida drinking water quality standards. The plant is comprised of ten 3.76 MGD and two 1.88 MGD membrane softening trains and operates at a minimum of 85% permeate water recovery. The plant is designed for continuous operation.

Biwater AEWT was contracted to supply a new state of the art membrane softening system for Palm Beach County, Florida. The plant delivers 25.5 MGD (96,500m3/day) of high quality drinking water. The plant is designed to treat shallow ground water with a TDS of approximately 600mg/l to remove hardness, iron and other contaminants to meet Florida drinking water quality standards. The plant is comprised of ten 2.55 MGD membrane softening trains and will operate at a minimum of 85% permeate water recovery. The plant is designed for continuous operation.

Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis, 96,000m3/day (25.5 MGD)

Palm Beach, Florida


Buxton, UK

Biwater carried out the replacement of the existing sewage treatment works at Buxton and provided a new MBR plant. The scheme is driven by the Fishery consent of 15:25:5/10 (BOD:SS:NH3) as part of the UWWTD. By meeting the new Fishery consent, the discretionary River Quality Objective of 15:25 (BOD:SS) is also met.

Membrane Bio-reactor (MBR), 16,762m3/day (4.5 MGD)



Seawater Reverse Osmosis, 8,500m3/day (2.3 MGD)

Biwater companies in the UK, South Africa and Malaysia combined their expertise in a US$29 million project to alleviate seasonal water shortages in the Seychelles.


The project included the manufacture, delivery, erection, installation, commissioning and testing of all process, mechanical, civil, electrical, instrumentation and control plant associated with the construction of the plant.

The contract was for the design, construction, commissioning and management of operations of four seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants on the main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue with a capacity of 2 MGD and with provision fo future expansion to 3.4 MGD.

Buwayb, Saudi Arabia

Biwater proposed a new site away from the flood plain, where the ecological impact would be minimal, especially on the River Wye. As the new works is split between two locations it was necessary to construct a safe and reliable link between them for pipework and other services.

The $140 million contract covered the turnkey construction of a 59,000m3/d water treatment facility, a 20 MW diesel power generating station, a 5,000m3 on-site reservoir and a 22,000m3 high zone reservoir. It also included responsibility for technical management, supervision and supply of spare parts and certain consumables for a five year operating period.

Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis, 59,000m3/day (15.6 MGD)


Lye Oak, UK

Biwater supplied and installed the microfiltration water treatment plant near Lydden, Kent, after carrying out the complete Mechanical, Electrical and Civil design for the plant. The plant is a cryptosporidia barrier for raw water sources from three boreholes. The work was carried out for Folkestone and Dover Water Services Limited and was undertaken on a site that is environmentally sensitive as it is classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty, surrounded by areas of ancient woodland with an adjacent site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

Microfiltration, 7,500m3/day (2 MGD)


News Stop Press

Securing our position as World Leaders
Biwater Awarded Membrane Scheme in Kent, UK
Biwaters reputation as the UKs premier process contractor has been confirmed by the award of a 3.5M membrane scheme at Wichling WTW for Mid Kent Water. The 14,000 m3/day (3.7 MGD) microfiltration plant was won following a competitive tender process. The new Wichling Turbidity Removal Scheme will comprise four Microfiltration membrane units to reduce the high turbidity levels from five boreholes. The treated water turbidity levels will be consistently controlled and maintained to the Purchasers target level for turbidity of <1 NTU, to comply with the Regulatory PCV of 1NTU. Key to the success of the award was Biwaters understanding of the clients and technologies needs and thorough Supply Chain Management to deliver value.

Biwater Continues its Growth in Membrane Bio-Reactors in Cape Town, South Africa

Biwater was awarded the contract for the extension of the wastewater treatment works at Zandvliet, Cape Town in May 2006. The scope of supply is for the design, delivery, installations, testing and commissioning of the 25,000m3/day (6.6 MGD) extension with an Operation and Maintenance period. Biwaters design used its extensive knowledge in Membrane Bio-reactors, which has been introduced as its first application in the South African industry sector. The technology offers a smaller plant footprint and a higher and more efficient throughput. The reinforced membranes are the key to MBR operation and performance, as it offers a large filtration surface area. These membranes act as ultra filters and produce a high quality effluent.

Biwater Achieves Largest Reverse Osmosis Capacity in Texas, USA

Biwater AEWT announced that it has completed the installation of the largest inland desalination facility in the United States. The joint El Paso Water Utilities facility will produce a total supply of 27.5 MGD by blending 15 MGD (57,000m3/day) permeate from a reverse osmosis plant with raw blend water to meet project water quality goals. The facility will draw upon the vast quantity of brackish water within the Hueco Bolson, an underground aquifer that has been designated a priority groundwater management area by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. The El Paso plant is now the largest membrane technology base plant in the state of Texas, followed by the 12 MGD (45,500m3/day) Water Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, Texas, which was also supplied by Biwater AEWT.

Your local Biwater Office

Biwater Plc Biwater House Station Approach, Dorking Surrey RH4 1TZ UK tel +44 (0)1306 740740 fax +44 (0)1306 885233 web

Biwater AEWT 113 E. Saint Joseph Street Arcadia CA 91006 USA tel +1 (626) 447 7707 fax +1 (626) 447 7737 email