OREANDA-NEWS. GE Water & Process Technologies today announced that it will supply its advanced water treatment equipment for an upgrade of the Lake Manatee Water Treatment Plant in Florida. The facility is responsible for purifying drinking water for over 350,000 residents and has the capacity to process 52 million gallons of water per day from the existing conventional surface water treatment plant.

GE will provide the Lake Manatee Water Treatment Plant with its ZeeWeed* 1000 ultrafiltration membranes for the surface water trains, which will produce water quality that meets stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards. The upgrade will enable Manatee County to continue to meet the water needs of its citizens without increasing the footprint of the plant.

Manatee County decided to upgrade the plant, as its multimedia filters in the surface water treatment trains were approaching the end of their useful life. The county selected ultrafiltration technology to accomplish a retrofit within the footprint of its existing media filters.

"We continually look for ways to improve our level of service, and the value of those services, to our customers. Harnessing ultrafiltration technology for this repair and replacement project will ensure we can meet current filtration requirements under the most challenging conditions experienced in Lake Manatee and positions us to meet even more stringent proposed requirements," said Mark Simpson, water manager, Manatee County.

Manatee County provides drinking water to residents of Manatee County, Sarasota County, the cities of Palmetto and Bradenton and the municipalities on the barrier islands. Its water sources are the Lake Manatee reservoir (surface water) and the East County Well Field (ground water).

Specifically, GE will supply Manatee County with 12 membrane trains, which are a two-stack design to be retrofitted into existing sand filter basins. GE’s technology offers low life cycle cost, and the project will incorporate a partial siphon design, which will save the municipality permeate pumping costs. The plant will operate at 96.3 percent recovery.

"The ZeeWeed 1000 membrane consistently outperforms conventional filtration technology while meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements, regardless of source water quality. It produces superior water quality and is virtually unaffected by variable raw water quality, which makes it the ideal technology to use for the upgrade of the Lake Manatee Water Treatment Plant," said Kevin Cassidy, global leader, engineered systems-GE Water & Process Technologies.

With this upgrade, Lake Manatee represents the world’s largest conversion of multimedia filtration to a membrane system for GE.