Delco Water’s Research & Development team is always exploring new frontiers in the water and wastewater industry.  By constantly investigating and researching improved approaches for water treatment systems, we remain at the leading edge of exciting technology and your first choice for water treatment units. Throughout Canada, Delco Water has made a difference in many rural and First nation communities by providing them with a reliable source of safe drinking water. We have taken our research and compiled the relevant information into case studies. These case studies highlight just a few of the communities we have helped. Each case study goes into detail about the community’s water needs and the solution created to get there. 

Biofiltration as a Membrane Pre-Treatment Technology: A Success Story at Montana First Nation, AB, Canada

Groundwater is a major water resource in Canada and often encounters high levels of iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn). A membrane system, reverse osmosis (RO) (or) nanofiltration (NF), is less tolerant to direct treatment of groundwater with high levels of Fe and Mn. The presence of Fe and/or Mn in water sources leads to membrane fouling and frequent maintenance. Therefore, the limitations posed by membrane systems to treat Fe and Mn necessitates the addition of pre-treatment technologies to their treatment process.  

Pilot-Scale Biofiltration of Iron- And Manganese- Contaminated Groundwater at Low In-Situ Temperatures at a Water Treatment Plant in Saskatchewan

Iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) are common elements of concern in groundwater in the Canadian Prairies. Biological filtration that stimulates indigenous Fe- and Mn-oxidizing microorganisms that are naturally present in groundwater is often considered a cost-effective water treatment option. One of the challenging aspects of biological treatment is that low temperatures significantly hinder microbial metabolic activity. This study focuses on enhancing cold-adapted, indigenous microbial populations for Fe and Mn oxidation at the in situ low temperatures (8 °C) of a pilot-scale biofilter at the Langham water treatment plant in Saskatoon. The pilot-scale biofiltration system consists of two aerated biofilters connected in series, designed to remove Fe in Filter 1 and Mn in Filter 2. The growth of biofilms was promoted either on conventional plastic filter media or on anthracite. Rapid oxidization of iron occurred through both filters in one month (99% removal, p < 0.05). After several months, Mn removal was successfully achieved in Filter 2 when it contained anthracite (97% removal, p < 0.05). Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) analyses confirmed the removal of Fe and Mn to meet water quality criteria. Adsorption of Mn on anthracite, which was  confirmed by an  additional batch experiment, likely promoted the  biological removal, bacterial immobilization, and/or physicochemical removal of Mn in Filter 2. Culture-dependent microbial assessments coupled with the leucoberbelin blue method indicated the presence of Mn-oxidizing bacteria in the biofiltration system.