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Mineral removal from well water

I have received a technical assistance request from a facility that currently
uses a water softener (potassium chloride) to remove minerals (primarily
calcium) from well water for use in their boilers.  Volume of water treated
is ~170,000 gallons/month and they've been told by the boiler manufacture
this treatment is essential for efficient operation of the boilers.    The
water is then reused as make  up water for a starch mixture used in the
manufacture of corrugated cardboard.  The problem is the salt content from
the water treatment makes maintaining the appropriate gel temperature for the
starch solution challenging.   They've had recommendations of reverse osmosis
or nanofiltration but those recommending it have indicated extremely high
operational costs with these systems.   The facility would like
recommendations for these and other alternative treatment but along with that
they are interested in getting some idea of the daily operational costs
involved with any alternative treatment. 

The current system is only costing them about $3500/year to replace the
filter materials and about $9/day for potassium chloride.  

Laura M. Comer
Pollution Prevention and Clean Marina Program Coordinator
FDEP - South District
PO Box 2549 Fort Myers, FL 33902-2549
239/332-6975 x 170      FX 239/332-6969
P2:  www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/p2/default.htm       
Florida Pollution Prevention Roundtable www.flppr.org
CMP:  www.dep.state.fl.us/law/Grants/CMP/default.htm
local marinas: