Xylem-Evoqua together for on-site electro-chlorination facilities

The OSEC system is easy to install and set up for any institution. Image: Xylem + Evoqua, Fraser Coast Regional Council

The recent merger between Xylem and Evoqua has opened new opportunities for what is now the world’s largest pure-play water technology company. One such opportunity is on-site electro-chlorination facilities.

The collection of innovative systems and solutions between the two companies has created the world’s most advanced platform of capabilities to address customers’ and communities’ critical water challenges. In Australia and New Zealand alone, Xylem and Evoqua work in 13 locations and employ about 350 staff. They serve a variety of markets, including local councils, mine sites, the industrial sector, farms, commercial business services, and residential communities.

“Global awareness of water as a systemic risk to society has never been greater,” said Patrick Decker, outgoing former President and CEO of Xylem. “Investment in water solutions continues to accelerate as communities and businesses worldwide address intensifying challenges like water scarcity, quality, and resilience to climate change – and how to address these issues affordably. Our combination with Evoqua creates a transformative global platform to solve these critical water challenges at an even greater scale. Together, we are uniquely positioned to help meet customers’ mission-critical needs with an unmatched portfolio of products and services across the water cycle.”

“Evoqua is the leading water technology player inside North America, serving critical water needs for industrial applications and selling our technologies around the globe,” said former Evoqua CEO Ron Keating. We’ve always known that to expand internationally, we would have to have a beachhead and an infrastructure base more heavily focused in Asia and the European market to offer our full solutions and services.”

We find opportunities across the board. Different pricing structures and economic models exist, but we serve utilities worldwide.

“Xylem is an outstanding company with an exceptionally talented and purpose-driven team, said new Xylem CEO Matthew Pine. “I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to build on the strong foundation, momentum and long-term trajectory created under Patrick’s leadership. As we integrate two great companies – Xylem and Evoqua – the whole team is committed to helping our customers address intensifying global water challenges by applying the power of technology and innovation, driving the digital transformation of water, and delivering solutions at scale.”

Fit for purpose disinfection

The Xylem + Evoqua merger combines two solutions providers with complementary products, facilitating more options for the customer from a disinfection perspective. The combined product portfolio enables customers to access the most comprehensive disinfection solutions. This access is second to none and includes technologies ranging from Ultraviolet (UV) and Ozone to Gas chlorination, chlorine dioxide, and On-Site Electro-Chlorination (OSEC) with all the associated disinfection analytics.

“Looking at the Australian water landscape with the many challenges for water authorities in trying to provide disinfected water to their communities, Xylem can assist the customer in selecting the most appropriate disinfection technology to suit their needs,” said Volun Pirom, the Principal Applications Engineer (Disinfection) at Evoqua Water Technologies.

Improving safety

OSEC systems safely generate sodium hypochlorite on-demand, using only salt, water, and power. With over 40 years of experience installing OSHG systems worldwide, Xylem and Evoqua’s branded OSEC system is suited to many applications across municipal, aquatics, and industrial markets.

“With increasing compliance costs and safety concerns for operators, on-site chlorine generation is becoming more attractive as an option for disinfection,” said Pirom. “Furthermore, from a supply chain perspective, it allows the water utilities to better manage the risks associated with the availability of disinfection chemicals. Covid-19 has highlighted these supply chain vulnerabilities.”

Building on decades of credibility in the disinfection space, Evoqua/Xylem has assisted various water authorities in calculating the return on investment (ROIs) for their disinfection projects by comparing capital and operating costs for different disinfection technologies.

“The more remote the location, the better the ROI for OSEC,” he said. “This is typically 1-2 years for small re-chlorination sites.”

An OSEC system eliminates the concerns of chlorine spills or gas leaks, creating a safer environment for staff and the wider community. It also eliminates the need for hazardous materials storage, creating peace of mind and better security.

The OSEC system is also more cost-effective. There is no more need for pre-made solutions sitting in barrels. The system produces hypochlorite on demand, which means it’s a disinfection system that only makes what the water utility or industrial water user might need. That reduces chemical and storage expenses. That’s before considering the optimisation of the dosage and the minimised waste. This further improves its economic efficiency. Utilities can even schedule hypochlorite production to take advantage of cheaper electricity prices.

Flexibility and sustainability

“Furthermore, using solar power to reduce electricity costs means that OSEC is potentially the best ‘green’ disinfection solution that is practical and proven,” said Pirom.

Significant opportunities exist to adapt the OSEC system to an end user’s needs. By producing hypochlorite when needed, at the exact concentration required, there’s no more need to wait on suppliers or delivery dates.

It’s also an excellent way to show environmental, societal and governance (ESG) credentials. The OSEC system is an eco-friendly technology that reduces transport emissions and plastic waste compared to traditional methods. There are fewer unwanted by-products, fewer plastic containers, and a smaller footprint on the planet.

By having a low-maintenance OSEC system, users can focus on what is most important to them. They can also enjoy extended lifespans for their new equipment. That builds into the incredible versatility of the technology. It can be used for almost anything from water treatment in local council plants to cooling towers in industrial settings.

“Safety and easy maintenance access is always a key priority for the industrial design engineers in Germany, with all components ergonomically situated,” said Pirom. “With interchangeable electrolyser cartridges for the OSEC L model, this means operators can easily swap out the cartridge without calling for specialist attention. For peace of mind, if specialist servicing is required, local support for the equipment is available via our extensive network.”

Where has it been used?

In Queensland, Fraser Coast Regional Council (FCRC) operates a number of water supply schemes throughout the region. While service reservoirs within the networks provide the community security of potable water supply, these service reservoirs are often in more remote areas of the Fraser Coast.

In addition, service reservoirs experience varying seasonal demands, which impact the top-up chlorination required to maintain the chlorine residual levels per the requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines. While chlorine gas continues to be successfully used, some of these sites also experience periods of low chlorine demand as a result of lower flows and/or lower chlorine decay.

What was the council looking for?

The OSEC disinfection technology was to be used at different water reservoirs across the network and for trunk mains. It also had to meet several important parameters and be suitable for all sites’ remote locations.

Minimal operator intervention and involvement were essential, as were the lowest residual safety risks associated with chemical handling. The system also needed to remove the risk of chlorine gas leaks that might affect nearby community members. There was also a financial aspect to account for. FCRC wanted a system capable of meeting water quality requirements in all network parts at the lowest total operating costs while also considering reliability, operator safety, safety to the public, ease of operation, and environmental risk.

How did the project work?

FCRC has a wide range of applications for the OSEC disinfection technology. It’s one of the critical reasons for the strong installation base across remote sites nationally and Xylem and Evoqua’s ability to produce disinfectant using only salt, water, and electricity.

Generating hypochlorite on demand eliminates concerns associated with transporting and storing liquefied chlorine gas or commercial sodium hypochlorite solutions. Salt bags can be easily delivered and stored on-site without handling hazardous chemicals.

With the Wallace & Tiernan Analyser for reservoir water quality monitoring and control, the FCRC was offered a safe, simple, and reliable system fit for their remote application.

The OSEC L system packages were installed and pre-tested in transportable buildings for all sites, minimising on-site installation time. This allowed the council’s team to become familiar with the system before installation on-site.

For more information, visit https://www.evoqua.com/en-AU/

Related Articles:

Send this to a friend