Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Calgon Take Me Away!

Yesterday morning I was privileged to be able to observe a changeout of carbon material at one of the filtration plants DuPont built for a local water system. It was a fascinating process.

This particular changeout was for the Tuppers Plains Chester Water District. It is one of just three in operation, though two more are under construction.

Filtration by means of granular activated carbon is dependent upon periodic changeouts of fresh material in order to maintain effectiveness. For the existing systems, that has meant a changeout every few months.

The material is manufactured by Calgon - the same company that makes bath products and those "Calgon take me away" ads from the late 70s or early 80s. Note the enormous truck. There were two onsite - one to remove the old carbon and one to install the new stuff.

The trucks back up to the filtration plant and hook up a series of hoses to the tanks inside. Water is added to the dry carbon material and then it is fed into the recently emptied chambers.

The granular activated carbon attracts PFOA, but the method is not terribly efficient. The process takes the amount of the C8 in the delivered water down to nondetectable levels.

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