Low-Pressure Reverse Osmosis Pilot Unit Arrives at Northwest Water Treatment Plant


Brunswick County Public Utilities and CDM Smith are proceeding with plans to test the effectiveness of a Low-Pressure Reverse Osmosis (LPRO) treatment system at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant, with the delivery of a scaled-down pilot system earlier this month.

A Low Pressure Reverse Osmosis pilot treatment system has been delivered to the Northwest Water Treatment Plant.

Brunswick County continues to make rapid progress on evaluating treatment options to remove contaminants found in the Cape Fear River. The County hired CDM Smith in January to evaluate the emerging contaminant issue in the Cape Fear River and recommend advanced treatment options for the removal of these contaminants at the County’s Northwest Water Treatment Plant (WTP).

As a part of that study, a Low-Pressure Reverse Osmosis (LPRO) pilot treatment system was delivered to the Northwest WTP in February. The pilot system, which is a scaled-down version of LPRO technology, will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of reverse osmosis for removing target contaminants, including: GenX, Poly and Per-fluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS), Nafion Byproduct 1 and 2, along with other contaminants. The pilot system will remain at the Northwest WTP for the next four months while testing takes place. CDM Smith will also complete scaled-down testing of Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) technology, using ultraviolet (UV) light and peroxide, for oxidation and removal of contaminants. While LPRO and AOP-UV will be evaluated separately for the ability to eliminate contaminants, these two treatment technologies are sometimes paired to create a more resilient treatment barrier.

CDM Smith will evaluate multiple treatment technologies for the removal of the aforementioned contaminants, including LPRO, AOP-UV, Granular Activated Carbon and Ion-Exchange, in order to make a recommendation to the County on advanced treatment options for the Northwest WTP.  A draft report summarizing initial study findings will be presented to the County’s Commissioners in March, and CDM Smith will make a treatment technology recommendation by April 2018.

More information about Brunswick County’s water treatment improvements plans, as well as test results for GenX and other poly and per-flourinated compounds, can be found at http://www.brunswickcountync.gov/genx/.