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SPR Investigating New Alternatives to Eliminate Old Problems in the Water Renewal Process

Magnesium ammonium phosphate, also known as struvite, is a serious problem in water renewal facilities as it builds up and restricts flow in pipes and pumps.

The South Platte Renew Environmental Science, Innovation & Optimization team is trying to find a solution to this challenge. They have bene investigating more cost effective alternatives to the commercial product currently used to remove struvite buildup in the process system.

Beer waste, dairy waste, or citric acid were all tested for efficacy, and the results demonstrated that low strength solutions of citric acid performed equally or even more effectively than the commercial products currently in use. The cost and performance analysis suggests that the citric acid alternative will allow for a 385% increase in the amount of piping that can be mitigated.

For reference, the proprietary chemical currently in use would cost about $48,000/year and it would allow for the cleaning of 15,000 linear feet of 8-inch pipe. Under the same budget assumptions, the citric acid alternative will allow for the 57,600 linear feet of the same pipe to be cleaned. The ESIO and Operations & Maintenance teams is planning to conduct onsite pilot testing on citric acid solution to determine the actual benefit of using citric on the removal of struvite buildup.

For more information about innovative projects the ESI&O team is working on, click here.

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