Veolia’s Mark Dyson looks at the rise and rise of mobile water treatment plant
Over the last fifteen years mobile water treatment plants have become a familiar part of the industrial landscape from bioethanol for green energy to pharmaceuticals and from detergents to frozen peas. Why has this happened?
“Mobiles” were originally simply large vessels full of ion exchange resins mounted inside a trailer which could be taken to a site to provide a temporary high purity water supply to cover breakdowns or planned maintenance of on-site plant. When the resin becomes exhausted the trailer is returned for regeneration at one of Veolia’s media conditioning centres at Stoke-on-Trent, UK or Wissous in France depending on the client’s location, to optimise travel time and associated costs and to ensure if there is a need, it is responded to in a timely manner. At the regeneration sites there is instant access to a variety of ion exchange resins and adsorption and filtration media. Because the ion exchange resins are regenerated back at a central regeneration facility, there are no chemicals on site and no effluent disposal or environmental problems. Over the years customers’ needs have changed and Veolia’s mobile fleet now includes a range of technologies from pre-treatment by clarification and filtration through reverse osmosis and wastewater treatment and recycling technologies.
Not only have treatment needs changed, so too has the way in which mobiles are used. Whilst many of the applications for mobile units are still for emergency or planned maintenance cover, an increasing number of companies are making a case for long-term rent when the capital investment in a permanent plant may not pay back within the expected life of the project. In this case, a Multi-Year rental can be provided under a ‘Pay as You Go’ flexible long term agreement. This means that the water system is funded by the operations budget leaving capital available for other investments.
The temporary plant approach gives many other advantages. The quality of the treated water is guaranteed and the treatment process is tailored to current water quality needs, whether that’s for softened water for low pressure boiler feed, demineralised water for high pressure boilers or process use. If the treated water quality needs to be upgraded, it’s an easy matter to change the mobile plant for one using a more advanced treatment process. Mobiles are completely modular, so any configuration of processes can be combined to make up a complete system to suit any application, which means that borehole, river and reservoir sources and even wastewater can be handled as easily as mains waters. Any number of modules can be operated in parallel or in series to provide whatever flow rate is required and, of course, can be added to later if an increase in throughput is needed, even if that is only for the short period of a campaign production.
The plant is installed in trailer or standard containers skid mounted. Containers are insulated and supplied with heating and lighting so that, inside the container, the environment is similar to most plant rooms. The containers are also kitted out with the required safety equipment. Renting through a reliable supplier means access to their expertise, allowing manufacturers to focus on their core activity. You may just find that long term rental agreements can be a very cost effective permanent solution to your water treatment needs. Visit http://www.mobilewaterservices.com/services/multi-year/ to learn more.