2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
System Makes Farm Pond Water DrinkableBrian Tennant needed drinkable water from a pond on his farm. That led him to design a plug-n-play water system that’s now on the market after 12 years of research and testing.
The system can produce about 1,200 gal. per day. That should be good news for areas of western Canada where about 20 percent of farms use surface water.
“We use filtration to get rid of the particulates and then pass the water through reverse osmosis and additional treatments,” explains Tennant. “The combination of multiple systems and being able to return backwash water to the pond makes our system different from others.”
Tennant explains that reverse osmosis is used in other water purification systems. However, organic molecules found in surface water tie up the membrane. They have to be flushed away.
He tackles the problem in multiple ways. The first step is to install some type of aeration in the dugout to oxidize the water. He also recommends using Blue Cloud, a blue food grade dye added to the water to reduce algae growth and reduce particulates in the water. In addition, he suggests pulling water from the middle of the dugout, about one third of the way from the bottom.
A stainless steel screen on the intake gets rid of larger particles. Pre-filtering eliminates particles larger than 5 microns before the water gets to the RO part of the system.
“Most reverse osmosis units are designed to reduce wastewater to as little as 1 gal. for every 1 gal. of filtered water. This requires changing filters more often,” says Tennant. “We use 3 to 4 gal. to flush the membrane for the 1 gal. that passes through, so we don’t need to change the membrane as often.”
The filtered water is sent through a large carbon filter designed to take out most chemicals. It also passes under UV light to disinfect any E.coli or coliform bacteria and then through a 1-micron filter to remove the parasite that causes beaver fever. Finally, it passes through a second UV light in case the first one has failed for some reason.
“Having the ability to recycle wastewater was important,” explains Tennant. “It makes the system simpler and lowers cost. We make safe water without adding chemicals like chlorine.”
The Dugout to RO system is priced at $16,500 if placed in an existing building. For an additional $5,000, it comes in an insulated, self-contained structure, ready to be set up at a remote location. The system comes with a 400-gal. water storage container. The Blue Cloud water coloration system is extra.
“Average water use is from 50 to 60 gal. per person per day,” explains Tennant. “The tank ensures an adequate buffer.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dugouts to Reverse Osmosis, P.O. Box 599, Kipling Station, Sask. Canada S0G 2S0 (ph 306 736-9669; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.dugouts-to-ro.com).
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