Water Treatment Portal - The Ultimate Compilation of Hot Topics Related to Water Treatment

Developed by Rami E. Kremesti M.Sc., CSci, CEnv

CIWEM Chartered Water Treatment Specialist

Click here for CV

Water is Life... Treat it Right


On this page, I have compiled a wealth of information for the water treatment professional or enthusiast consisting of topics in water treatment technology, water chemistry, microbiology, some resources and references. Water treatment and chemistry in general are my passion and I hope this page is useful for you.The ultimate aim of Water Treatment is to improve energy efficiency of industrial processes, protect public health and the Environment. This is part of Environmental Engineering as a whole which also protects Air and Soil from pollution.

Our philosophy is to promote a style of living which minimizes the environmental impact of our lives on nature. Rampant consumerism US style is irrational and not in harmony with nature. One must live simply, humbly and spiritually.

I - Water: An Overview and FAQ's:


II - Water Impurities:

A. Inorganics
B. Organics//TOC/VOC's/BTEX
C. Biological contaminants (bacteria, viruses, algae)
D. Gases
E. Suspended Solids/Oils
F. Radioactive substances
G. Disinection Bi-Products (DBP's)
H. Color
I. Silt - Clay - Mud
J. Humic Substances
Pharmaceuticals, Hormones,
and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants

L. Emering Contaminants
M. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
N . Nano tubes

O. Cleaning and Personal Care Products
P. Nitrogen and Phosphorus
Q. Hardness
R. Dissolved Solids

Sometimes water itself can be an inpurity... as is the case in insulating electric oils inside high voltage transformers. The presence of water leads to a loweing of the dielectric strength of the insulating oil. Water in oil is measured using the Karl-Fischer titration.

>> An excellent article by Lenntech on water impurities.

>> An excellent article or water contaminants and methods of removing them from Enting.

>> WHO's drinking water standards
>> FAO Irrigation Water Quality Standards


III - Problems Caused by Water Impurities

All problems caused by water impurities results in loss of efficiency of plant operations, loss in equipment life expectancy, and health and environmental problems. These are the major problems caused by water impurities:

A. Metal Corrosion and Concrete Corrosion
B. Scale
C. Fouling
D. Microbial Contamination/Biofouling

E. Environmental Pollution
F. Foaming
G. Carry over in boilers
H. Turbine deposits
I. Algal Blooms and resulting Eutrophication, Taste and Odor and Color problems
J. Mussels
K. Toxicity to Fish
L. Health Problems to Users (ex. Legionellosis, Cancer, Skin burns, Blue baby syndrome)
M. Loss of efficiency (Less MW produced per Ton of fuel burned)

N. Possible explosions (for example due to buildup of Methane or Hydrogen) or mixing of acid and base
O. Damage of soil
P. Odor and Taste
Q. Discoloration or Color Deposits
R. Stratification (due to different temperatures of water layers)
S. Zebra Mussels
T. Tooth decay due to lack of Fluoride
U. Fish Control
V. Water Hammer
W. Burns (due to excessive heat)


XII - Industrial/Municipal Waste Water Treatment Sequence:

A. Pretreatment: This stage involves methods such as steam stripping, oxidation and neutralization. This stage removes impurities such as phenols, thiols, amines, ammonia, sulfide and adjusts the PH

B. Primary Treatment: This stage aims to remove free oil, suspended/emulsified oil, suspended solids, colloids. Methods used include Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF), Coagulation, Sand Filtration.

C. Secondary Treatment: (aka biological treatment, activated sludge, "bugs" treatment) This stage uses sludges that contain microbiologically active bacteria ("bugs" in slang) that metabolize impurities and break them down into simpler less harmful molecules. This stage removes dissolved oraganics.

D. Tertiary Treatment: This stage removes color, taste, odor, dissolved organics and inorganics. It uses methods such as Ozonation, activated-Carbon filtration, ultrafiltration, Reverse Osmosis, Ion Exchange resins, and EDR.

E. Sludge Dewatering: This stage reduces the volume of the refuse sludge that is generated in previous stages by reducing the water content of the refuse sludge. Methods used are centrifugation, filter-presses, belt-pressing.

Check Lenntech's water treatment Decision Path tutorial.


IV - Water Treatment Chemicals

Click here for an overview of water treatment chemical categories.

Click here for a list of Precipitation Softening Chemicals

Click here for different types of Algaecides and Biocides

RO Antiscalants/Cleaning Chemicals

Boiler Antiscalants/Dispersants/Corrosion Inhibitors

Cooling Water Antiscalsnts/Dispersants

Corrosion Inhibitors

pH adjustors


Oxygen Scavengers


Cleaning Chemicals

V - Analysis of Water

A. Physical Properties  (ex. conductivity, turbidity)
B. Chemical Constituents
      - Ions
      - Organics
      - Gases
C. Biological Contaminants (viruses, bacteria, algae, mussels, parasites)
D. Equipment Used In Water Analysis (MS, GC, AA, HPLC, IC, wet chemistry tests, spectrophotometry)

E. Click here to view Hach-Lange's list of water analysis parameters

Click here for a list of sites on Water Analysis Methods

Click here for a list of Water analysis instrument companies


VI - Water Uses in Industry:

A. Power Generation (boilers/turbines)
B. Cooling
C. Fire-fighting
D. Drinking
E. Pharmaceutical Industry (Water For Injection)
F. For rinsing Silicon wafers in the semiconductor industry

G. Food industry
H. Pulp and Paper Industry
I. Mining Industry
J. Cleaning
K. Aquaculture
L. Irrigation
M. Evap Cooling/Fogging for Gas Turbine Air Intakes
N. Demin Water for NOX Control in Gas Turbines
O. Recreational Use in Swimming Pools and Spas
P. Boiler Chemical Cleaning
Q. Hydraulic Fracking

VII - Water Treatment Processes/Equipment:


VIII - Water Related Associations/Institutes/Unions:

A. American Water Works Association:
C. Environmental Response Team:
D. NACE: National Association for Corrosion Engineers -
E. Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association
F. The Global Directory for Environmental Technology:
G. International Water Association:
H. Water and Environment Federation:
I: International Desalination Association:
J. Water Quality Association: 
K. Young Water Action Team
L. European Water Association
M. Oilgae - very interesting portal on using Algage for waste water treatment and alternative energy from Algae
N. British Water Trade Association
O. Pruf Institut for Abwasser technik ( Testing Institute for Waste Water Technology GmbH )
P. EURITS - European Union for Responsible Incineration and Treatment of Special Waste
Q. Swiss Water Partnership

R. European Water Association
S. Deutch Membrane Association

T. The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management, UK


IX - Water Related References/Papers/Training Companies:

A. Wiley Water Encyclopedia:
B. Jonas Inc. White Papers:
C. GE Water Articles
D. Water and Waste Water Website:
E. The Cooling Tower Doctor
F. Academic Publications in Water Treatment:

- Environmental Organizations and Institutes
(a compilation)

G. World Resources Institute (WRI) is an environmental think tank.
H. Sustainable Business
I. Risk Mitigation by Managing Water Treatment System Interfaces in the Power Industry - Bechtel paper
K. The UK Approved Code of Practice for Legionella Risk Control.
L. Nereda Presentation
M. Develop UK - Water Treatment Industry Training
N. David H. Paul Water Treatment Training Courses
O. Evaluation of Indicator Bacteria Removal in
Wastewater Treatment Processes

P. Biodegradation of Common Wastes in a Marine Environment
Q. Effectiveness of Chlorination on Pathogens

R. EC Joint Research Center - Reference Documents


T. Fact Sheet on Fracking and Related Pollution from EAWAG

U. The True Cost of Oil Water Separators : Capital vs Maintenance Costs

V. Coalescer Design Manual

X - Water Treatment Industry Key Players:

A. GE Water, GE Infrastructure
B. Siemens Water Technologies which is now Evoqua
C. Nalco
D. Metito
E. Baker-Hughes Petrolite
F. CIBA Specialty Chemicals
G. See list of many more companies on
H. Environmental Consulting Firms in the USA from
I. Ionics Corp. (aka GE Infrastructure, Water and Process Technologies)
J. Lenntech - badly designed site, amazing company
K. US Filter - A Siements Co.
L. Zenon Environmental - now part of GE Water
M. Black and Veatch
O. Degremont which is now also a part of Engie
P. Veolia Water
Q. RO Specialists: DOW Fimltech, Hydranautics, Toray, Applied Membranes, Koch,
R. GDF Suez which is now Engie
T. Ashland
U. Hager El Sasser
W. Ovivo Water (Formerly Christ Water)
X. Pall Corporation
Y. Severn Trent Services
Z. Desalination Portal
A1. Doosan
B1. DHV - Consultancy and Engineeering
C1. CH2M Hill
E1. PWN Technologies
F1. WesTech Engineering
G1. ChemTreat USA

H1. Amiad Filtration Systems Israel



XI - Market Research/Data:

Excellent resource for the water market is the following from MAC (Market Access and Compliance):

Market Research Resource:

Residential Water Treatment Market overview/article:

Water Treatment Market Reports from Report Linker

Global Water Intel

XII - Books On Water Treatment

1. Cooling Water Treatment: Principles and Practice: Colin Frayne Hardcover, Package, 1999

2. Nalco PAC I, II and III

3. Chemical Treatment of Boiler Water: James W. McCoy
Hardcover, 1980

4. Theory and Practice of Water and Wastewater Treatment (Hardcover, 1996) Author: Ronald L. Droste

5. Gower Handbook of Water Treatment Chemicals : An International Guide to More Than 3400 Products by Trade Name, Chemical, Function, and Manufacturer (Hardcover, 1996) . Compiled by Michael and Irene Ash

6. List of Water Treatment Books recommended by Lenntech.

7. AWWA Handbook of Water Treatment Plant Design

8. Metcalf and Eddy's Waste Water Treatment Engineering

9. The Biofilm Hypertextbook


XIII - Print and Online Water-Related Journals/Sites/Articles/Videos:

Water Research by Elsevier

US Water Contaminated By Pharmaceutical Companies, Hospitals, Consumers

Power Plant Chemistry

The Filtration Spectrum by Osmonics

Overview of Septic Tank Systems - Video

In Fracking's Wake - An Article on Fracking Waste Water from the Wall Street Journal

Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracking

Wall Street Journal's Article: In Fracking's Wake

Removing Radioactive Iodine from Water

Capturing Flue Gas Water

XIV - Water Jobs 

AWWA Job site,, and EURES.

Middle Eastern Jobs -

Spencer Ogden

Matchtech UK

Alexander Associates UK

XV - Water/Environmental Research Centers/Institutes/Eco Initiatives

Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben Gurion University

Water Technology Research (WaTeR) Center at UCLA

The European Water Platform

The EU Water Initiative

Horizon 2020 - Depolluting the Mediterranean

Life Straw - Point of Use Potabilization of Surface Water

The Research at TU Delft @ Environmental Biotechnology Group

The EAWAG at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich

The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research
part of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Water Capture in Flue Gas

Desalination and Biofilm Research Centers of Excellence

Biosystems Control Group at Ghent University


XVI - Innovative technologies:

ActiFlo - The Ultimate Clarifier based on Ballasted Clarification

OSorb - A Nanomaterial glass that absorbs organic compounds from water

Sonoxide - Ultrasonic, chemical-free Microbiological control for cooling water applications from Ashland.

Direct Osmosis High Salinity chemical-free cleaning of fouled RO membranes.

Electro Deionization - EDI - Excellent article from GE Water on the innovative eco-friendly technology for water deionization.

RECAM from SA Envitech - Nano Material based on Graphene with high affinity for organics.

High Efficiency Electropositive Nano-Alumina Coated Filters from Argonide Corporation.

CoMag and BioMag: Magnetite-Ballasted High-Performance Clarification and Waste Water Treatment

Drinking With the Wind - Wind Powered RO Desalination

Chlorine Dioxide - IX

Bearingless Pumps for ultrapure water applications

The ANAMMOX Process

Sharon ®, CANON ® and BABE ®

Aerobic Granular Sludge Technology: NEREDA ®

Neutralization of Basic waste water with CO2

Wet Air Oxidation (Zimpro process)

Supercritical Water Oxidation for high COD Waste Water Treatment - AquaCritox ®

Phosphorus Removal Filtration Media

Newater : Converting Sanitary Waste Water to Drinking Water

Electrocoagulation in Waste Water Treatment

Gas Phase Chemical Reduction - An Article by Greenpeace

Solar Driven Water Treatment - Solar Spring

Aquaporin Biomimetic Membranes

The Organica Food Chain Reactor for Waste Water Treatment

Novomer - CO2 based Environmentally Friendly Polymers

Organica Sewage Treatment

Living Machine Systems: Tidal Flow Wetlands and Hydraponic WT

High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis

LG Sonic - Ultra-Sonic Treatment of Algae


XVII - Analysis of Micro-Biology in Water

Biological control is an important part of a successful water treatment program. If biological activity is not controlled, critical plant equipment and piping will experience under-deposit and microbially-influenced corrosion (MIC) or clogging of filtering equipment. MIC can produce pipe failures in a relatively short period. RO membranes can experience an irreversible decline in rejection rate. Inadequate bacteria control can contribute to potential health hazards such as Legionellosis. Even minimal biofilm on heat transfer surfaces can effect the efficiency of the equipment and
result in higher operating costs. Maintaining proper control requires appropriate testing and monitoring:

Heterotrophic plate counts (HPC), bioassay slides, SRB (Sulfate Reducing Bacteria) tests, ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) analysis, aerobic/anaerobic bacterial analysis, etc. are part of routine biological water analysis.

Some more detailed tests that can be carried out are:

Total Plate Count at 22oC
Total Plate Count at 37oC
Total Coliforms
Thermotolerant Coliforms
Intestinal Enterococci
Iron Bacteria
Spores of Sulfite-Reducing Clostridia
Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Staphylococcus aureus
Culturable Enteroviruses (Polioviruses, Viruses ECHO, Coxsackie B and EV 68-71)
Giardia Cysts
Cysts of Amoebas
Helminthes Eggs
Cryptosporidium Oocysts

There is also an array of tests that can be done to determine the type pf algae in water.

Microbial analysis is also very important in monitoring the health of biomass in activated sludge processes as well as digestion processes. So is the monitoring of pH, DO and C/H/N. Sometimes when the Biota is inactivated by toxic compounds, Bioaugmentation becomes necessary.

Sludge Retention Time and the F/M ration are two important factors that affect microbiological populations in activated sludge. This graph illustrates this.


XVIII - Municipal Waste Water Treatment

A very interesting topic because there are very interesting technologies invovled:

Sewage water treatment is broken down into, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary waste water treatment.

In Primary Waste Water Treatment, grit removal, settling of solids and skimming of scum is the main process used.

In Secondary Waste Water Treatment, the organics in the water are broken down using biologically active bacteria in any one of the following processes:

- Activated Sludge Process in which the bacteria that break down the organic waste are suspended in the waste water
- Trickling Filters in which active bacteria are attached to surfaces and the waste water trickles on these surfaces
- Rotating Biological Contactors - another fixed film process
- Membrane Bioreactors combine the Activated Sludge Process with membrane based Solid-Liquid separation

In tertiary waste water treatment, Phosphorus and Nitrogen are removed using chemical precipitation or biological phosphorus removal for P and for Nitrogen, the nitrification-denitrification biological process is used. Also, clear effluent is disinfected using oxidizing biocides or UV.

Click here to read a more detailed overview of sewage treatment.

Various Topics/Technologies

XIX - A - Designing an RO System - The Fundamentals

XIX - B - RO Membrane Cleaning Chemicals

XIX - C - Electro Deionization - EDI

XIX - D - Swimming Pool Water Treatment

XIX - E - Semiconductor Water Treatment

XIX - F - Water Steam Cycle Chemistry

XIX - G - Fish Control

XIX - H - Control and Instrumentation

XIX - I- Multiple Stage Flash Distillation

XIX - J - Multiple Effect Distillation

XIX - K - Ultra Filtration

XIX - l - Package Sewage Treatment Plants

XIX - J - Glass vs . ISFET pH Electodes

XIX - K - Health, Safety and the Environment

XIX - L - Zero Liquid Discharge

XIX - M - Grey Water Treatment

XIX - O - Phosphorus Removal from Waste water

XIX - P - Carrousel Waste Water Treatment

XIX - Q - Interesting Facts About Feces

XIX - R - Electrocoagulation

XIX - S - Gas Phase Chemical Reduction Technology

XIX - T - Biogas Plants

XIX - U - Coalescers and Oil Water Separators

XIX - V - Forward Osmosis

XIX - W - Nutrient and Energy Recovery from Waste Water and Urine

XIX - X Class A and Class B Biosolids

XIX - Y Biofilms in SWRO

.:. Air Cooled Heat Exchangers

.:. Food Processing Wastewater Treatment

.:. RO Membrane Autopsies

.:. Self Cleaning Micron Range Filter Suppliers: AMIAD, Boll Filter, Bernoulli Sweden, Evoqua

XX - MBR Technology for Waste Water Treatment

Membrane Bio Reactors are MF/UF membrane based systems that filter the MLSS (Mixed Liquor Suspended Solids = the mixture of waste water and active biomass) of the activated sludge process and hence separate the treated waste water from the suspended solids and active sludge thus achieving very low levels of BOD, SS and bacterial counts in the effluent. The MBR process replaces the settling process which follows the aeration step in the activated sludge process hence reducing WWTP footprint.

Famous MBR system suppliers on the market are:

Zenon MBR systems from GE Water

Puron MBR systems from Koch Membrane Systems

Xpress, Petro and MemPulse MBR systems from Siemens Water

The four main MBR membrane suppliers are Kubota, Memcor, Mitsubishi and Zenon. Others are Berghof, Inge AG, X-Flow.

A good website on MBR is the MBR Network

Small Package Sewage Treatment Plants based on MBR technology suppliers:

Busse Innovative Systeme

Martin Membrane


XXI - Water Treatment Software

Software is used in water treatment to design RO, ion exchange systems as well as to model scaling potential of chemical species in cooling water. So called EMS software helps companies manage energy consumption by optimising pump and store functions.
Excel sheets are also used for designing waste water systems based on engineering equations.



French Creek Software for Modeling Scaling Potential in Cooling Water

Derceto's Aquadapt - Energy Management Software

US Amry Corps of Engineers Fish Behavior Modeling Software

Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling Software

BioWin WWT Simulation Software from EnviroSim

AquaSIM from EAWAG for Simulating WWT Systems

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