When considering industrial water filtration systems, it is important to remember that not all filters perform the same task or function. A variety of factors, from cost to efficiency and the particulate type of filter, will determine which filtration options might best suit individual businesses and the systems they maintain.
For businesses aiming to go green and lessen the environmental impact of their operations, industrial water filtration systems are an important part of responsible water use. However, businesses will vary in their needs as well as what they can afford and how knowledgeable they are about maintaining a new water system. For these reasons, it is important to understand the basics of a variety of water filtration types so that businesses can be well-informed to decide individually which options best suit their particular output. Consulting with a knowledgeable expert is also an important step, as they can provide evaluations and recommendations that suit your business.
Industrial Water Filtration Systems
When people think of water filtration, they tend to imagine an air filter for an HVAC system, a coffee filter, or maybe a pool filter.
Bag Or Cartridge Filtration
Bag filtration is just what it seems, whereas water is funneled through a bag with a sealed top forcing the bag to fill up generally from the bottom to the top. Cartridge filtration is an upgrade to the bag in that it is possible to get more surface area in a smaller condensed filter due to the “pleated” arrangement of the filter itself. Filters of this type water generally flows from outside to inside.
In both cases, when the pressure on the incoming water is sufficiently increased 5-10psi, it is normally time to change the bag or cartridge. In general, these are disposable and not cleaned. They are generally used to clean up systems or to maintain systems with very low particle loads, they can require a lot of maintenance especially if used in the wrong application and can have many limitations. However, they are the least expensive in the short term.
Multimedia Sand Filtration
Water filtered through sand comes out cleaner than unfiltered water because the sand grains catch particulates as the water passes through. However, multimedia sand filtration takes this process a step further. By using three or more distinct materials—anthracite, sand, and garnet—particles smaller than even 10 microns are unable to pass through. This offers a distinct advantage over sand alone, which can only filter down to approximately 25 microns in size.
The idea behind this method is to provide multiple stages of filtration, as each material filters different things. Anthracite, the lightest of the three materials, will catch the biggest particles. It stratifies itself on the top layer. Beneath that is sand, which will catch some of what anthracite did not catch. Garnet, as the heaviest of the three parts of the filter, is dense and will capture the small, heavy particles that passed through the first two layers, providing effectively filtered water. This type of filter backwashes by forcing water in the opposite direction to expel the particles in reverse of the direction which they accumulated.
Another option for industrial water filtration systems is cyclonic separation. In this type of separation, there is no actual media. This option relies solely on centrifugal force — the force that keeps water in a bucket if it is swung in a circle overhead. Using this cyclonic action, the force of the spinning pushes particles toward the outside the circle, or in this case the vessel, and this can be used to separate the heavier and more dense particles from the center of the water stream. This effect produces water that is cleaner than the original filter water.
By creating a “cyclone” of swirling water, the heavy pollutant particles succumb to centrifugal force and are pushed to the outer walls of the vessel, where they drift down and slide to the bottom into a trap which is then evacuated by using a timed releasing valve to drain. Sometimes a secondary filter is attached to the trap catching these particles while allowing filtered water to return into the system continuously.
Disc filtration is one of the simplest water filter systems available. It performs its function through the use of a manufactured disc with specifically sized pores intended to capture the particulates present in industrial water. Much like the soft, spongy air filter of a vacuum cleaner, a disc filter rests inside the central unit of a water filtration system; as all the water passes through it, the carefully crafted pore structure traps particulates and allows the rest of the water to pass.
This might suggest that these disc filters would get dirty rather quickly, and this is true. For this reason, most systems are built with a backwash function; occasionally, water will be pushed back through the discs in reverse. This dislodges all the captured particles and drains them into a reject flume, cleaning the discs and preparing them for further use. These filters tend to need more maintenance than some other filters and need to be seriously evaluated for the proper application.
Water filtration systems that use screen separation are in many ways similar to disc filtration; they simply use different equipment. A system of screens is stacked on top of each other, each with varying sizes between the gaps in their frame. As water passes through, particles will snag on the screens whose holes are too small. By stacking multiple screens together, industrial water systems can achieve greater efficiency in filtration.
Call The Professional Cooling Tower Water Treatment Company
When it comes to water filtration, deciding which system is right for a particular business or industry can be challenging. Many businesses are concerned with their overall carbon footprint and how environmentally friendly their operations are. One factor that bears consideration when trying to achieve greater environmental efficiency is a concept quickly becoming known as “water stewardship”. The relationship between how much water a business uses, how clean that water is, and how significant heat exchanger efficiency is which leads to savings in electricity, steam, water, etc not to mention on the environment via its carbon footprint is important to consider, as these ideas are often intrinsically linked.
Tower Water sets the standard in water treatment and care, advocating for a mechanical solution over a chemical option whenever possible. Everything from particle size and cost to water pressure and return on investment is important when considering industrial water filtration systems, and Tower Water can assist with selecting the option that best suits any business. Get in touch to schedule a review of your business’ water system and to discuss which filtration options may serve you best.