BTO rapport - BTO 2007.022

Biofouling of spiral-wound membranes in water treatment. Partnership project Kiwa Water Research AwwaRF. Fifth Periodic Report


The project on Biofouling is part of a larger BTO (Joint Research Program) project on defining and achieving Drinking Water Quality for the 21st Century (Q21). The Q21 project, which has been approved by the Board of BTO Clients in October 2003, includes the following projects: (i) defining Q21 water quality goals; (ii) integral approach of water treatment; (iii) application of membrane filtration in water treatment, including the effects of membrane filtration on biological stability, on the growth of Legionella in biofilms and biofouling of membranes, and (iv) water quality changes in the distribution system, e.g. sedimentation of particles in relation to brown water problems. These Q21 projects have been defined in more detail in 2004, in communication with the involved Program Advisory Committees (Microbiology, Water Treatment Technology and Asset Management). Contacts with AwwaRF led to the decision to cooperate in the research on biofouling. A workshop was organized at Kiwa Water Research (KWR) on October 11, 2004 to identify the scientific objectives of this cooperative project. Following the workshop, the Joint KWR-AwwaRF project on Biofouling was defined and the starting date was set on February 15, 2005. The project description is presented in Appendix 1. The research activities on Biofouling are discussed in the BTO Project Group Biofouling (BTO-PG Biofouling). Periodically, the results will be reported to the AwwaRF project manager.
This report presents the progress of the project, which effectively started at the beginning of 2005. Generally, the experimental part of the project related to the development and application of test methods is on schedule, but reviewing the literature on biofouling is delayed. This delay is due to the complexity of the available information and staff changes. Investigations at locations 1 (pilot plant with NF) and 2 (full scale RO installation) have been completed, the experimental work at location 3 (full scale RO installlation) has been completed in September 2006 and reported (draft) in February 2007. Also experimental work has been conducted at location 4 (full scale RO installation) and completed in 2006 and reported in January 2007. A final location has been identified. Experimental details and planning of this work will be discussed in May 2007.

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