Located at a key crossroads in Southeast Ohio, the Village of Byesville boasts a delightful small-town ambiance intertwined with a rich history of Ohio coal mining. To cater to the water needs of the town, Byesville established a microfiltration (MF) membrane water treatment plant (WTP), the first of its kind in the state. The water source for this is groundwater, which posed a challenge as the wells are located in abandoned mine tunnels which lead the Ohio EPA to classify it as “under the influence of surface water.” As a result, Byesville faced the need to replace the MF membranes before their expected lifespan. However, the new membranes encountered fouling issues shortly after startup. Further investigation determined that the pretreatment filters had also malfunctioned, allowing substantial amounts of iron to pass through to the UF membranes. Additionally, the village discovered elevated TTHM (disinfection byproduct) levels in the distribution system, primarily due to the high bromide content in the raw water.
To address the pressing concerns, PRIME AE was engaged as a partner to develop a safe solution for supplying the town with water. Our team investigated potential treatment technologies and discovered a unique process that used coagulation, flocculation, and ultrafiltration using ceramic membranes. A bench scale test confirmed efficacy of this approach simultaneously removing iron, manganese, and bromide We subsequently submitted a grant application to the Ohio Water Development Authority, seeking a Research and Development Grant to finance this new technology and support a rigorous 2000-hour pilot study required by Ohio EPA for all membrane processes.
Thanks to our team’s innovative approach, the Village of Byesville not only preserved their water filtration system, but also secured partial funding to alleviate the financial strain associated with the necessary changes.