The City of New Brunswick owns and operates the largest hollow fiber membrane plant in New Jersey. The plant treats surface water from two sources of supply: the Delaware and Raritan Canal and Lawrence Brook. The original water treatment plant was constructed in the 1916 and consisted of clarification followed by dual media gravity filtration. In the 1930’s as demands increased, a separate parallel pressure filtration system was added. In 2002, the City began planning for the pressure filter replacement by performing a feasibility study of potential replacement options. The study found that membrane filtration was a much better option than expansion of the gravity filtration system. Benefits included higher treated water quality, ease of integration into the site and potential expansion for future replacement of the dual media gravity filters. Due to the potential growth in demands, the City planned for an ultimate plant capacity of 24 MGD. In the early 2000s, pressurized membrane systems were generally limited to a capacity of 1-2 MGD per train. With the ultimate capacity of 24 MGD, the City considered both pressurized and immersed membrane systems and pilot testing and conceptual layouts were performed for both systems. Memcor’s CMF-S membrane was selected for final design. The advantages of the Memcor system included its smaller building requirement, its ability to handle upsets in the clarification system and the ease of maintenance of the membranes. The membrane system was placed into service in July 2008. During the past decade of operation, the City has made operational adjustments and modified mechanical components of the membrane system. The operational adjustments have included changes to the CIP strategy in terms of chemical dosages and frequency as well as modifications to the neutralization system. Despite the membranes receiving clarified water, modifications to upstream coagulation have been performed to minimize dissolved aluminum and manganese. The City has also performed membrane autopsies in an effort to better understand fouling of the membrane fibers. Mechanical modifications have been made to the compressed air system, air scour blowers and coating in the membrane tank. In 2018, the City began planning for the expansion of the membrane facility to enable replacement of the gravity filters. Membrane technology had evolved over the past decade such that systems were no longer proprietary and higher capacity pressurized skids were now available. The non proprietary systems and higher capacity skids could result in more competitive pricing, a smaller footprint, and simplify maintenance. Based on this information, the City initiated a comprehensive evaluation of membrane systems suitable for the expansion. The City expects to bid the plant expansion in early 2022. This paper will discuss the significant aspects of the design and operational phases of the project along with the improvements that have been made over the decade of operation.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- John Civardi
- Mott MacDonald
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference, Las Vegas
- AMTA/AWWA Membrane Technology Conference
- Fouling, membrane fibers, City of New Brunswick