The Importance of RO System Data Collection

Collected Data

Maintaining records of operating data is necessary to monitor RO system performance. These records are usually kept on log sheets that can be designed for a specific system (such as RO). These are essential for both troubleshooting and possible warranty claims.

The following data should be recorded onto log sheets:

  • Date and Time
  • Hours of Operation
  • Feed and Permeate Pressures
  • Concentrate Pressure of Each Stage
  • Permeate and Concentrate Flows
  • Conductivity of the Feed, Permeate, and Concentrate Streams
  • pH of the Feed Stream
  • Water Temperature of the Feed System

If your membrane system does not have instrumentation to monitor this, portable devices, such as handheld meters, can be used to take readings.

Maintenance Records

Maintenance Records should be kept for the following:

  • Routine Maintenance
  • Equipment Repairs or Replacements
  • Calibration of Meters and Gauges
  • Replacement of Addition of Pretreatment Equipment
  • Any Unusual Incidents
  • Cleaning or Replacement of RO Membranes

Collected Data Calculations

The following can be calculated from the log sheet’s calculated data:

  • Pressure Drop for Each Stage
  • Percent Recovery
  • Percent Rejection

Pretreatment equipment is also an important part of the operation of a membrane system, so data should be collected for them as well. The following are typically recorded:

  • Total Residual Chlorine Concentration in the RO Feed
  • Hardness of the RO Feed
  • Discharge Pressure of Any Booster Pumps
  • Pressure Drop of All Filters
  • Silt Density Index Text Results for the RO Feed
  • Consumption of Any Pretreatment Chemicals Used

Pretreatment Data

Pretreatment equipment is also an important part of the operation of a membrane system, so data should be collected for them as well. The following are typically recorded:

  • Total Residual Chlorine Concentration in the RO Feed
  • Hardness of the RO Feed
  • Discharge Pressure of Any Booster Pumps
  • Pressure Drop of All Filters
  • Silt Density Index Text Results for the RO Feed
  • Consumption of Any Pretreatment Chemicals Used

Normalization and Changing Variations

All variations in feedwater quality, temperature, and membrane quality can affect the quality of permeate water produced by a membrane system. Using the above data and calculations can help workers adjust the temperature, pressure and quality for membranes to change these factors and accomplish these goals.

Charting normalized permeate flow rate over time is the best way to monitor membrane performance and changes. Normalization is the act of converting readings to account for these variations. If the membrane degrades at all, the normalized permeate flow rate will decrease.

Need a Daily System Log to start recording data? Download our free log!

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