GE installs water filtration technology at Oamaru Water Treatment plant, New Zealand

Waitaki District Council in New Zealand has upgraded its Oamaru Water Treatment plant, with water filtration technology from GE that will increase the plant capacity by 25%.

The upgrade is part of a broader commitment by the council to provide quality drinking water to the growing local population.

Presently, the facility supplies water to 14,400 residents of Oamaru, Weston, Enfield and Kakanui. The council intends to connect more than 1,000 new residents in the coming years.

The plant will use ZeeWeed membrane technology from GE to meet growing demand and allow for flexibility to add further capacity in the future.

Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher said: "Providing a sustainable supply of clean, quality drinking water is core business and a major priority for the council, and I'm proud to say that in partnership with GE, we will be able to supply more people with clean water without increasing costs.

"It is critical that we have a reliable solution to meet our growing needs for years to come, and I'm confident that we have found that with this advanced technology."

Membrane filtration is a process where water is drawn through millions of very small (two one hundred thousandths of a millimetre) holes in order to collect and remove impurities.

The ZeeWeed membrane technology is claimed to offer a high degree of filtration, with perforations that are 400 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The GE ZeeWeed technology is also claimed to be increase the lifespan of membranes by 30% (from seven years to ten years), and save an estimated $300,000 in purchase costs when compared with 'like for like' replacement, as well as $100,000 annually in depreciation and operating costs.

Plants fitted with GE ZeeWeed technology have been supplying drinking water to Auckland and Nelson for more than ten years.
Recently, the technology was installed at a wastewater treatment plant in Rotorua.

GE Water & Process Technologies regional executive Irshaad Hakim said: "We congratulate the Council and Mayor Kircher on the reopening of this advanced facility for Waitaki. We are proud to have our ZeeWeed technology support its upgrade - one that will help the Council save $400,000, consume less energy and produce 25 percent more high quality drinking water for residents in the area."

Waitaki Council also added GE's Industrial Internet-driven InSight Pro Process Consulting Service to the water treatment plant which automatically collects data on water process and quality from the new membrane system and converts it into graphical reports.

A GE process specialist is assigned to work with Oamaru to monitor the data and help the operators with interpreting the results to ensure the most efficient operation of the plant.