In this video, Adam Festger (Trojan Technologies Drinking Water and ECT Market Manager), speaks with Water Online’s Bill King at Weftec 2016 about water reuse and why it continues to gain widespread support. He also discusses how UV plays a role in the treatment process and provides examples of some of the innovative water reuse projects in operation today.
Bill King (BK): Hello, this is Bill King reporting live from Weftec 2016 down in New Orleans. I’ve made my way over to the Trojan Technologies booth, and I’m here with Adam Festger, Market Manager with Trojan Technologies. Adam – nice to see you.
Adam Festger (AF): Nice to see you. Thanks for having me.
BK: Yeah, so today what we’re going to be talking about is water reuse. Obviously something that’s been trending in our industry over the last five years, with a lot of drought out in the Western states, and Adam, was hoping you could talk a little bit about how Trojan’s involved in water reuse.
AF: It’s a really important topic for us, and we as Trojan have been involved in water reuse for most of our 40-year history. Specifically over the last 20 years, we’ve been heavily involved in the research and installing projects. Helping customers understand why UV makes sense in reuse applications. Here we are 1.5 billion gallons per day of installed capacity and about later. So we feel like we have a lot of history in reuse we have a lot to bring to the table there.
BK: What are some of the alternative technologies that are used in disinfecting wastewater for water reuse?
AF: Well the main other technology is chlorine. And chlorine of course involves the addition of sodium hypochlorite, a chemical added to the water to disinfect. That requires that we remove that the chlorine from the water before we send it out to a receiving body. So when we talk about reuse we’re looking for sustainable solutions. Most people we talked to are not interested in using chemicals that they don’t have to.
That’s one of the big advantages that UV brings to the table – is that it’s not chemical. We’re using UV light to inactivate microorganisms. It’s a physical process. It’s clean, it’s safe. It’s got a lower life cycle cost. It brings quite a few advantages to water reuse applications.
BK: So obviously there’s lots of different types of water reuse projects perhaps the most consumer charged is the treatment of wastewater into a potable drinking water product. How’s Trojan involved in water reuse as it relates to drinking water?
AF: I think this is an area that we’re most proud to be involved in. It’s certainly an emerging area as drought continues to get worse. More and more communities are looking at converting wastewater into drinking water. Making the wastewater plant a source of supply for drinking water. Over the last 10 to 15 years, this is really developing and we’re seeing more and more interest all across the country in this.
For example Big Spring Texas – that is the first direct potable reuse project in North America. They’re actually taking highly treated wastewater, then they’re injecting that into the feed line of their drinking water plant. So it’s direct reuse of highly treated wastewater. And they’ve had great success from a public relations standpoint. The public is very supportive of that scheme to produce more water and they need it.
Their reservoirs were down to very, very low capacity. So this is going to get more and more interesting as we get more and more challenge from the water scarcity perspective?
BK: Sure. And then there’s some other water reuse projects such as groundwater replenishment. Perhaps a little bit more common than the drinking water one – not quite so consumer-charged. Can you talk a little bit about groundwater replenishment?
AF: Yeah what you’re talking about is the difference between direct potable reuse and indirect potable reuse. We’ve been involved in numerous indirect potable reuse projects over the years. The groundwater replenishment system with the Orange County Water District in California is a great example – they just surpassed 200 billion gallons of water produced at the GWRS.
We’re really honored to be part of that system that really pioneered indirect potable reuse in our country over the last 25 years. But in that process you use this sequence of treatment technologies – microfiltration, reverse osmosis and then UV-oxidation.
UV-oxidation is when we add a little bit of oxidant ahead of our UV system. Then we use high UV energies to create a hydroxyl radical, which helps us to destroy chemical contaminants as well as disinfecting. So we’re providing that high-level disinfection I was talking about earlier. While at the same time, we’re destroying chemicals. That was very important to Orange County Water District. It’s very important to the other indirect potable reuse projects in California, Texas, and Florida where we see a lot of interest in that.
BK: That’s really interesting where your technology sort of adapts just a little bit, to basically what you’re treating. Where are we going to be in say 10 years with water reuse? What does that look like to you?
AF: I think that in 10 years, the yuck factor will be overcome. We will be seeing very commonly around our country – systems that take wastewater treat it to a high level to drinking water quality – to beyond drinking water quality even. And use that as source water for drinking water plants. I think this is going to be commonplace as we struggle with impaired waters, the sources of supply that are contaminated. Sources of supply that are are depleting because of the population increasing, and drought. So I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more reuse over the next ten years.
BK: Great. Well as communities start thinking about their water sources – how did they get in touch with Trojan Technologies?
AF: Lots of different ways – one of the places you can get in touch with us is our website it’s UVwaterReuse.com. Check us out there – it describes how are involved in reuse, describes some of our different products – the TrojanUVSigna, TrojanUVPhox, some of our different offerings that we bring to water reuse, to water reuse facilities.
BK: Great. Well Adam, thank you very much for your time.
AF: It’s been a pleasure. Thanks Bill. Good to talk with you.