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Evaluation of Methods for Monitoring the Integrity of Reverse Osmosis Membrane Systems


USBR; Denver, CO.
April 2000

Report #55 - Abstract -

Several methods of monitoring the integrity of RO membrane systems were evaluated in conjunction with a 6 month wastewater recycling project in McAllen, TX. Screened, de-gritted sewage was treated with a MF/bioreactor followed by chloramination, anti-scalant, acidification with sulfuric acid, and RO. On-line methods evaluated were differential pressure across each stage, normalized product flow, salt passage, total organic carbon, particle count, and particle index. Periodic methods evaluated were pressure hold test, dye challenge, UV analysis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa counts. After the 6-month baseline study, the membrane system was damaged purposefully in a variety of ways to find the change in response for each of the methods with a known level of damage. Methods were evaluated for ease of interpretation, labor intensity, and ability to detect change. The highest ranking methods were total organic carbon monitoring, UV 254, and dye challenge.


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For more information about the DWPR program, contact Kevin Price at: Bureau of Reclamation, 86-69000, PO Box 25007, Denver CO 80225; phone (303) 445-2260; or e-mail a message to MPrice@usbr.gov.