Water Management

Water management

Water Management

Recently my company installed an Oil Separator at one of the new facilities at Laem Chabang Port. This system was one of many I looked at from around the world. Once I started my research into these systems I was amazed at the ingenuity that had been applied to getting oil out of water. One system from America used a belt that was driven by an electric motor and connected to a barrel like array in the waste pit. The belt pick up the oil as it spun around and the oil was then wiped of by a stationary blade. They claimed a reduction of oil down to about 14 ppm (Parts per million). Then a product that uses bacteria to bring it down further was needed.

The other two

One from Australia and the one I finally used from Malaysia used a cyclone type of action whereby the oil water mixture was pumped into a barrel with patented systems that used the cyclonic action and gravity to separate the oil. The Malaysian system was chosen as this claimed a reduction of below 10ppm. “PAT” the Port Authority of Thailand requires that the oil content needs to be below 10ppm in any reject water. (Most ports around the world only require 20ppm) This is an issue when the machinery that needs to be washed down on a regular basis has a lot of oil in and around the wash down bays. The installation took the best part of a day. However a lot of time was wasted mostly driving around to get bits and pieces needed from hardware stores. It is comforting to know that “PAT” has stringent pollution control guidelines in place given what the general perception of Thailand is like.

Island Development

Recently I did a trip to inspect an Island Development of Phuket in southern Thailand. Water is needed and desalination and Reverse Osmosis machines will be required. Investing is by invitation only and the development will have a high class hotel/resort and marina on the island as well. Whilst down in Phuket it was raining cats and dogs so to speak. It is amazing that with so much rain around they still have water supply problems. Desalination is the way of the future. Especially as the technology develops. Currently the machines can have energy recovery devices installed that bring the cost of making the clean potable water down to less than municipal prices. These energy recovery devices work the same way as a turbo charger on a car. The waste water drives the turbo which in turn boosts the intake water pressure.

Issues with Swimming pools

Whilst down in Phuket I received a number of phone calls from customers in Pattaya. It was issues with swimming pools again. The same stuff I get over and over. To much or not enough backwashing. One of the pools I recently took over servicing has been having clarity problems. Although only three to four months old, the sand medium in the filters was stuffed. It was a simple case of the previous Thai service people doing a backwash every week. Simply too much. The sand used here will last around twelve months with around one backwash every three to four weeks. The only option is to change the medium. He has three choices, replace with new sand, zeolite or recycled glass. Zeolite and glass are relatively new on the market and expensive if compared with sand. However they last for considerably longer and perform better as a filter medium than sand. Zeolite is twice the price of sand but will last five years plus.

Recycled glass

Recycled glass is the newest on the market and is the most expensive. However you will get ten to fifteen years out of this product. Both zeolite and recycled glass take more iron out of the water as the particles are negatively charged and iron is positively charged. The issue with too much backwashing is not just a Pattaya one. My colleagues in Phuket have the same problem on a regular basis. Not only does the sand wear out quicker, pressure is not brought up enough for effective filtration to happen. By backwashing you fluff up the sand and this causes what is termed in the industry (Channeling) “not speaking to the dead” but giving easy access for the water to flow trough the filter medium and thereby not allowing dirt and algae to be trapped.


“WET” Water Engineered Technologies (Thailand) offer a broad range of Commercial & Domestic water filtration solutions including swimming pool design, construction, equipment and consultation.

Steve can be contacted on # 0848 428317 or email info@poolsasean.com