Brazil: Membrane technology for drinking and wastewater treatment


The refresher course for 20 IHE Delft alumni of the region (South and Central America) included topics on technical and management aspects of low pressure membranes for drinking and wastewater treatment: innovative and sustainable technologies and management of water and sanitation services.
Since the mid 1990’s, the use of low pressure membranes (MF and UF) processes has grown rapidly. One of the main drivers for the increase in MF and UF growth was the increasingly stringent environmental legislation implemented in the last decade dealing mainly with disinfection of water (e.g. Giardia and Cryptosporidium removal guidelines).
The course provided theoretical and practical knowledge on the design, operation and management of membrane processes in the water and wastewater sector. Specific membrane related problems such as membrane fouling and cleaning were dealt with in detail, including pre-treatment options and the latest developments in monitoring and controlling fouling.
MF/UF process design schemes for the treatment of drinking water, and membrane bioreactors in waste water treatment (MBR) applications were also covered.
Furthermore, the course discussed current developments in the use of low pressure membranes for decentralized systems and emergency situations, and their contribution to the achievements of the MDGs. In addition, the course also focused on sharing local experiences from the participants.
During the course, a couple of field visits was arranged to the largest water reuse facility in Sao Paulo and also to the a new wastewater treatment plant with ultrafiltration membranes in the vicinity of the course location.

Sponsor: NUFFIC
Partner: SABESP (Mara Ramos, MSc)
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Duration: December 9-13, 2013
IHE Staff: Dr. Sergio Salinas, Dr. Hector Garcia, Raquel dos Santos