Ultrafiltration as the ideal filter solution for surface-affected drinking water

About 70 percent of our drinking water comes from groundwater and spring water. This is created by water seeping from the surface into deep soil layers. Depending on the filtering effect of the geological layers, the water is cleaned of surface impurities to a greater or lesser extent. In some regions, however, the filtering effect of the soil is not sufficient; pathogens such as bacteria and parasites get from the surface into the springs and wells located close to the surface and thus into the drinking water. It must be treated accordingly.

In addition, in times of climate change, extreme weather events such as heavy rains and floods have a negative impact on water quality because the groundwater is directly contaminated by polluted surface water. Thus, even in previously safe source catchments, turbidity and contamination with pathogens such as e-coli or parasites can occur. These can cause diarrhoea, nausea and other illnesses. The health department has to declare boil-off orders. In the worst case, contamination of the distribution network of the drinking water supply occurs with very complex and cost-intensive consequences for its necessary shock disinfection and chemical cleaning with chlorine.

For municipal drinking water purifiers of small and medium-sized communities with up to 20,000 inhabitants, the question arises about the most suitable treatment technology. This is because UV disinfection alone cannot reliably eliminate such pathogens if turbidity occurs at the same time. This is because if the water is cloudy due to suspended matter, the UV rays cannot penetrate it completely. But this is necessary so that the UV rays can actually hit all germs and the radiation dose is high enough to destroy their genetic material. Only then is the drinking water sufficiently disinfected and thus safe.

A related guideline of the Federal Environment Agency from 2021 reads: “When using the processes for the (UV) disinfection of surface water or water influenced by surface water, care must be taken to ensure the greatest possible particle separation before disinfection. In this context, turbidity values in the effluent of the particle-separating stage in the range of 0.1 – 0.2 FNU are to be aimed at, if possible to be undercut”. Several court rulings, such as that of the VGH Munich of 17.05.2018, consider the use of ultrafiltration and UV disinfection as a multi-barrier to be effective in this regard in accordance with the generally recognised rules of technology, taking into account the multi-barrier principle and the minimisation requirement (§ 39 para. 2 no. 1 IfSG, § 20 para. 1 no. 5 TrinkwV).

Ultrafiltration is therefore the ideal solution for surface-affected drinking water in order to meet the requirements for a safe drinking water supply. This is because an ultrafiltration system from Seccua not only significantly reduces turbidity in the water in the first step, but also all pathogens, parasites and other microorganisms, thus ensuring effective sterilisation of the source water. Seccua’s ultrafiltration system is based on developments in medical technology and removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, parasites and up to 99.99% of all viruses. In addition, particles such as microplastics, rust and turbidity are effectively reduced. Afterwards, the UV technology can work efficiently again.

Seccua Phoenix ultrafiltration and UV system form an insurmountable multi-barrier system against any turbidity and pathogens, which is already used by many water suppliers. The standardised Seccua Phoenix system is modularly scalable for communities with up to 20,000 consumers.

By the way, we are constantly looking for distributors worldwide to sell our drinking water treatment systems. Please contact me if you are interested.