Water bugs zapped

A spin-out from Robert Gordon University has successfully completed field trials of an advanced water treatment system.

UVPS Environmental, a spin-out from Robert Gordon University, working in cohort with Scotland’s Filter Clear, has successfully completed field trials of an advanced water treatment system.

Known as Sapphire-Clear, the system effectively destroys contaminants in  ‘low-visibility’ water, using less energy than conventional methods.

With the assistance of the Scottish Environmental Technology Network (SETN), the two companies took part in competitive trials in the US for one of the largest environmental projects in the country.

The project was initiated after a regional water district in Florida received nearly USD300m from the US Federal Government to regenerate and restore the Everglades National Park, which is the largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the US.

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) began the testing of advanced water treatment technologies after conventional approaches failed to adequately remove E.Coli and other contaminants from surface water intended for use in aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) schemes.

Because it is deeply coloured water, with high levels of sediment in times of heavy rainfall, the treatment of it was problematic.

UVPS were invited to participate in field trials, following successful bench-scale trials carried out on samples of the surface water.

UVPS incorporated a pre-treatment filtration device, the patented ‘Spruce’ Filter which was developed by Filter Clear with its own ‘Sapphire’ photocatalytic reactor for use in the trials.

One of the key advantages of the ‘Sapphire’ reactor is its ability to cope with water colourations far higher than tolerated by the traditional ultraviolet (UV) systems which already proved inadequate for the ASR project.

At measured colour units of up to 800, the transmittance of UV C radiation is reduced to less than one per cent.

The Sapphire-Clear water treatment system effectively destroyed high levels of E.Coli present in the source water, demonstrating the technological capability of the two Scottish companies.