Greentech Lead America: Veolia Water North America
has revealed that Actiflo Carb technology can successfully remove
pharmaceuticals and phosphorus from wastewater.
Developed and patented by Veolia Water Solutions &
Technologies, Actiflo Carb is a high-rate clarification technology that relies
on powdered activated carbon (PAC), which is known for its ability to remove
pesticides, taste-and-odor-causing compounds, natural organic matter and many
types of TOrCs from water and wastewater.
The Actiflo Carb technology can remove almost 75
percent of the pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), ranging from
ointments to medications, from wastewater. After adding Actiflo Carb to
wastewater phosphorus was reduced to a concentration of 0.05 mg/L or less, well
below the U.S. EPA’s regulatory limit set at 1.0 mg/L.
Actiflo Carb study was conducted by process
engineers from Veolia Water and its subsidiary Kruger as part of a
multi-year partnership with a team of scientists from the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). The study was released at the annual WEFTEC
conference and coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.
By examining water samples collected at different times
over the course of a one-year period between 2009 and 2010, the first phase of
the project concluded that a significant concentration of several trace organic
compounds (TOrCs) were still present in the wastewater even after a secondary
treatment process had been completed.
Since treated wastewater effluent discharged into the
environment must be safe for all other water uses — including fishing,
swimming, recreation and municipal drinking water supply — minimizing the
discharge of TOrCs is critical.
“There is mounting concern across the U.S. about the
impact of trace organics, such as hormones and pharmaceuticals, in our water
systems and the potential threats they pose on human health, wildlife and the
environment,” said Rebecca Klaper, the lead scientist from University
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who worked on the study.
“This research showed that when Actiflo Carb is
added to a wastewater treatment process, it removes a significant portion of
the pharmaceuticals tested,” Klaper confirmed.
“Actiflo Carb goes beyond conventional processes in
its ability to remove phosphorous, pharmaceuticals and other trace organics
found in ever-larger quantities in our water supply,” said Jim
Hurst, Veolia Water North America’s chief technical officer.
“We believe it will give wastewater facilities a way
to stretch their treatment dollars while dramatically reducing pollution levels
and achieving better water quality,” Hurst added. “The Clean Water Act
initiated efforts to reduce water pollution in the U.S., and now this
technology can take those efforts even further by addressing one of today’s
emerging water pollution issues.”