Ozone Drinking Water Authority Wilfred LePage Passes

Wilfred LePage, age 83 of Monroe, MI died Monday, January 27, 2014 in his home after a year long period of declining health.

Following service with the Marines during the Korean Conflict, he studied at Wayne State University. While in college he entered his career field of drinking water purification at the Mount Clemens Water Filtration Plant. In 1959 he accepted a supervisory position with the Monroe Water Department from which he retired in 1995.

Wilfred rose to international prominence in the water industry. He authored and published numerous technical papers largely on the application of ozone to drinking water treatment and, following invasion of the water system by the non-indigenous zebra mussel, on mussel mitigation. He traveled extensively at home and abroad while presenting his work.

He held leadership positions in several technical and scientific societies and received numerous high honors including the water industry’s coveted George Warren Fuller Award for his innovative work with ozone.


The Six Reasons Ozone Water Treatment Systems Fail

Ozone water treatment systems convert the oxygen in air or other feed gas into ozone and mixed it with water for the specific water treatment applications, e.g. disifection. Many applications are critical and reliability is important in the design of these systems.

There are a number of factors that can cause these an ozone water treatment system to fail. This article tries to group them into six basic categories based on my ten years of experience building and servicing this type of system. The typical failure mechanisms include:

• Back Flow of Water into the Generator
• Poor Feed Gas Quality
• Under sizing the system for the application
• Poor ozone transfer efficiency
• Ozone generator cooling issues
• Incorrect materials of construction

We will briefly discuss each here.

Back flow of water is possible since many application call for injecting ozone into a water system with higher pressure than the ozone generator, as a result, under the right conditions, water could flow into the generator. Because of the nature of the generator, this would result in sever damage and significant repair time. Well designed systems employ multiple barriers to prevent this condition including both passive devices and active controls.

The ozone generator requires a clean dry source of oxygen or air. Failure to deliver a high quality gas feed will result in both damage to the generator and a reduction in generator efficiency. Well designed systems employ gas dryers, filters and instruments to monitor gas quality with interlocks to shut down the system if poor gas quality is discovered.

If the ozone system is under designed, it will not have sufficient capacity to meet the requirements of the application. The sizing of the system will require laboratory and pilot studies prior to committing to a system size. It is usually not possible to predict without such studies the proper size of an ozone water treatment system.

Another design factor that must be considered is the efficiency of dissolving ozone into water for a given system. Only ozone that dissolves into water is useful for treatment. Since ozone has limited solubility in water, it is important to design the system to achieve a high degree of efficiency, normally greater than 90%. Well designed pilot studies can confirm the expected transfer efficiency.

Ozone generator output is a function of operating temperature. Whether cooled by water or air, the generator capacity declines with increasing cooling medium temperature. So, the design of the system must take into account ambient conditions on site.

The final area where problems occur is materials of construction. Ozone is a strong oxidizer and can damage materials not appropriate for the application. The incorrect materials will result in leaks and failure of various down stream equipment.

During the design or purchase of an ozone water treatment system, each of these factors should be carefully considered.

For more information on ozone water treatment system design visit www.SpartanWaterTreatment.com of contact us at info@spartanwatertreatment.com.


Fort Worth Experiences Taste and Odor Issues

The Fort Worth Business Press reports that Water from Fort Worth’s Rolling Hills and Westside water treatment plants is safe to drink despite changes in taste and odor, according to city officials. Both water departments assure their customers the water is safe for drinking, cooking, bathing and all other purposes, though it has what Fort Worth officials call an “earthy smell and taste.”

Water quality data from the district indicated that levels of geosmin have been steadily rising in recent months, according to a Fort Worth news release. Geosmin can produce taste and odor issues in the part per billion range, so the amounts found in the water are incredibly small. Fort Worth water officials describe that as a normal occurrence for this time of year. Geosmin is a naturally occurring compound produced by bacteria in soil and algae found in surface water. Cold temperatures kill off algae in surface water, and the dead algae release the geosmin.

Fort Worth and Arlington have increased the dosage of ozone at their treatment plants. Ozone is used to disinfect the drinking water, and it can help with resolving taste and odor issues, but not in all cases. The key parameter is the ozone dose. Since the amount of geosmin varies from year to year, adjusting the ozone dose to match the amount of geosmin in the water requires time. The ozone react with the molecule to change its characteristics such that it does not affect the taste of the water.


Monroe MI Upgrades Ozone System for Taste and Odor Control

MONROE — Monroe is updating it ozone system to control potential taste-and-odor problems with replacement one of two ozone generators for a cost of nearly $1,000,000. The new ozone generator is to become operational by Aug. 15. The ozone generators were installed in 1997 and 2001, but the 1997 ozone generator has failed and is being replaced with a larger generator. Design modifications will allow the Monroe to eventually install a third ozone generator to help increase the plant’s treatment capacity.

Monroe is Michigan’s only city to draw its water from Western Lake Erie. The main part of the water plant opened on March 1, 1924. Toledo and Port Clinton also draw their water from the shallow western basin.

Injecting ozone into the water after it’s been pulled from the lake is part of Monroe’s first-treatment process to improve taste and remove odors. The plant’s ozone capacity also is being increased to help fend off toxins found in western Lake Erie’s most prevalent form of harmful blue-green algae, microcystis. The main toxin in that algae is called microcystin.

One of Lake Erie’s worst algae outbreaks occurred this summer. It wasn’t as large as the record 2011 bloom. But the toxin was so concentrated in the Oak Harbor area that it overwhelmed a water-treatment system that serves 2,000 residents of Ottawa County’s Carroll Township. That event was the first in Ohio history to cause an emergency closure of a water plant because of algae toxins. Residents were provided bottled water until the township was able to get uncontaminated tap water from Port Clinton. The township flushed out its system and put its plant back into service after the threat subsided.


Ozone Considered for Food Processing Applications

In a Food Procesing magazine article by Kevin T. Higgins, Managing Editor, dated 01/08/2014, the growing potential for ozone as a disinfecting agent for food processing is explored. Below are some excerpts from the article.

The article notes that in June 2001 the FDA lifted restrictions on ozone’s use. Health Canada gave its blessing for the use of ozone in a fish processing plant in British Columbia in 2012. So, it appears that North American regulators are willing to accept ozone as a disinfecting agent for food processing.

Because the U.S. Department of Commerce oversees seafood processing, ozone’s use in direct contact with fish predates FDA’s approval. Knocking down spoilage organisms and bacteria is essential if fish is to have a realistic shelf life. While U.S. firms have used ozonated water to accomplish that for at least 15 years, their counterparts to the north only recently have had that option.

Adoption by other food processing companies has been cautious. Don’t fix what’s not broken is a guiding principle in process industries, and even small changes are approached with considerable caution. Misapplication also retarded acceptance: Overdosing of water for equipment cleaning generated complaints of pitting of stainless steel, and poultry processors seeking high log reductions on chicken carcasses discovered oxidation could react with lipids and create rancidity issues. Worker safety issues and unreliable controls that produced spotty results in some ozone applications in the past.

Ozone is a standard part of bottled water applications. It seems to be finding growing acceptance in the fish processing industry and in the handling of fresh cut vegetables. So, with a better understanding of how to best apply ozone, on what food products and increased awareness of the benefits, ozone should find its way into more and more food processing facilities.