Under-Drain Filters Fitted At Desalination Plant

Severn Trent Services-Apliclor and Acciona Agua have designed and installed Tetra LP Block dual-parallel under-drain filters for the pre-treatment of the Fouka SWRO desalination plant in Algeria. The plant, located in Tipaza, will have a daily capacity of 120,000m3 per day (3.7mgd) and will provide water to more than 500,000 people. With the completion of construction expected during 2010, the Fouka SWRO plant is part of the Algerian government's desalination programme, which includes the construction of 12 desalination plants producing a total of 2.2 million cubic metres per day.

The Fouka SWRO plant was built in partnership between Acciona Agua and SCN-Lavalin in Canada. SCN-Lavalin also signed a joint-venture agreement with Acciona Agua to operate and maintain the plant for 25 years. The under-drain filter is said to be one of the most important factors contributing to a desalination pre-treatment system's overall performance and operation. The Tetra LP Block dual-parallel under-drain filters from Severn Trent Services distribute both backwash air and water, either separately or concurrently. In the Fouka SWRO plant installation, the blocks cover the floor of the gravity filters supporting the filter media.

The blocks feature the Grout Grip design, which increases the adhesion of the filter base and eliminates the buoyancy issues commonly found in some technologies. Air is distributed evenly across the entire filter bottom area to scour the media and to provide an air lift, which, with the water, removes the released solids from the filter. Effective media cleaning is the key requirement for a filter to function efficiently under all loading conditions.

The backwash system is claimed to ensure efficient cleaning for reduced operating costs. The block is durable and offers a low-maintenance solution with no-clogging nozzles and no moving parts to wear. The wide profile design of the Tetra LP Block means that fewer blocks are required to cover the filter floor. Therefore, fewer joints and less grout are required compared with other systems.


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