22 June 2010: Malvern, UK: An advanced particle characterization system from Malvern Instruments is being used to support water treatment plant operators in their optimization of treatment processes, and is removing the need to wait for external laboratory results. Saving valuable resources, the Zetasizer Nano enables operators to easily measure and track the zeta potential (charge) of inflowing waters on site - hourly, daily, or across cycles, according to seasonal needs. These parameters are critical to final water quality and treatment plant efficiency.

Gregory Dehmlow, of Dehmlow Optimization in the US, is a water treatment consultant specialising in plant optimization. Mr Dehmlow said: “The Malvern Zetasizer Nano allows operators to perform essential analyses in house, rather than having to rely on external laboratories. It is user friendly and treatment operators are comfortable with the functionality and reliability of the unit.”

“In the past, instruments measuring zeta potential have been rather difficult to work with outside of a laboratory setting. Following Malvern’s specified procedure and because of the ease with which the unit performs time and time again, operators readily accept this as part of their daily laboratory analysis. It is part of their routine in optimizing and producing the highest water quality for their customers.”

The zeta potential of influent waters received by the treatment facility affects the formation of floc following the rapid mix or flocculation step during the treatment process. Different chemicals are added to disinfect the raw water, change the pH, and reduce the inherent charge to optimize coagulation. Samples are taken following each chemical application in order to analyze the water clarification process and track changes in parameters and optimize flocculation conditions over time.

As a water treatment consultant, Gregory Dehmlow recommends the Zetasizer Nano for characterizing waters in the distribution system and to help determine whether treatment operations align with optimization goals overall.