Reverse Osmosis Keeps Your Town Safe From Nitrates
Many communities depend on some form of water purification. This month, our focus is on Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants, which provide numerous benefits but require a highly skilled crew to manage.
“When selecting a treatment system, some people are of the opinion that you build a system like an RO plant and that it just runs itself… but that’s not the case,” said Dennis White, Eastern Iowa region manager for PeopleService. “An RO system requires a high level of operator involvement in controlling the system.”
Having an expertly-managed RO plant is critical for agricultural areas, where higher nitrate levels in the groundwater supply are often found. This is usually due to nitrate-rich fertilizer and manure application. Rain and irrigation waters can transport nitrates into rivers or streams and down through the soil into aquifers.
At high enough levels, these nitrates can pose a serious public health hazard. And that’s where RO comes in.
How it Works
RO uses a pressure-driven membrane separation process to remove ions, salts, bacteria, and, you guessed it, nitrates. All the bad stuff remains on the pressurized side of the membrane while the pure solvent (i.e. water) is allowed to pass to the other side, giving you fresh drinking water.
One of the benefits of using the RO process for water purification is that it does not require thermal energy. Instead, it is regulated by the use of high-pressure pumps. To maximize efficiency and keep costs low, you need trained professionals who understand the needs of the specific RO system they work with.
Managing Riverside, Iowa’s RO Plant
The city of Riverside, Iowa, is a valued PeopleService partner, and that community’s state-of-the-art facility provides an excellent example of the complexities and value of an RO system staffed by certified experts.
According to White, “An RO facility is a great investment for those municipalities considering a new system. You have to weigh the benefits against the capital costs. RO is highly effective at reducing nitrates, radium, and a host of other serious water impurities. It is an excellent system for filtering and removing undesirable waste material. They needed an operator with the requisite skills in math and chemistry to make certain every aspect of the plant is operating at peak efficiency. The RO plant we manage for the city of Riverside is very new and finding the right team to manage the plant’s day-to-day operations was important. We put a highly skilled operations team in place at Riverside and were able to begin the contract ahead of schedule.”
This RO facility continues to operate at peak efficiency and supply the city of Riverside with drinking water that’s free of nitrates and other harmful contaminants.
Our RO Expertise is Driven by Experience
Understanding the needs of each community, the systems in place and how these systems operate is what makes PeopleService so valuable to the communities we serve. The expertise we’ve developed over almost three decades of service has given us the ability to staff, operate and manage water and wastewater facilities of all types and sizes. We provide the expertise needed to run a basic lagoon water treatment system all the way up to the complex inner workings of a modern RO plant.
If you have questions about RO or any treatment system, PeopleService is ready to provide the expert advice you need to ensure your system runs at peak performance and, if not, to get you there while keeping your citizens safe.