Yokogawa Electric Corporation has successfully completed a proof of concept test of technology that reduces energy consumption and stabilizes the quality of the water discharged by the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD), located in Los Angeles County, California. This initiative was undertaken as part of the company's proposal to improve the performance of existing wastewater reclamation facilities in conjunction with a program sponsored by the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that seeks to examine opportunities for the overseas deployment of high quality energy infrastructure.
Water stress is an increasingly pressing issue worldwide due to the effects of climate change and the rising demand for water driven by population growth. In order to ensure stability in water resources, more and more countries are looking to make proactive use of reclaimed water. In the USA, the state of California is considering changes in regulations*1 that will allow the direct use of reclaimed water for drinking water by the end of 2023, and this is the subject of serious discussions and cooperation between the public and private sectors.
This proof of concept was conducted as part of the Pure Water Project and led by the LVMWD, whose aim is to produce potable water from highly treated wastewater in compliance with State water quality standards. Doing so required LVMWD to consider alternative technological approaches, as treating water to potable quality consumes enormous amounts of electricity and is more maintenance intensive. Yokogawa has been studying ways to address such challenges by making use of the company's extensive process knowledge and experience in monitoring and control of industrial facilities.
Given the large fluctuations in the quality of the wastewater that flows into reclamation facilities, plant operators must take proper care while monitoring the inflow rate to ensure that the mandated water quality standards are met, and rely on their knowledge and technical expertise to make the necessary adjustments. Yokogawa applied its advanced data driven modeling for optimization (DDMO) software suite to model and then predict setpoints to optimize operations and support operator decision making while maintaining the targeted water quality at water treatment facilities.
As this proof of concept was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Yokogawa used its Yokogawa Cloud platform to minimize the site activities and move site data to Japan where the DDMO software utilized real-time operational data to derive control setpoints that were sent back to operators at the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility. After conducting a multifaceted evaluation and performing a concrete verification of effectiveness, it was revealed that improvements in operational efficiency had yielded an over 10% reduction in power consumption, while meeting all water quality standards. Impressed with these results, the WateReuse Association presented Yokogawa and its partners with a 2022 Transformational Innovation award*2.
Tsuyoshi Abe, a Yokogawa Electric vice president and head of the Marketing Headquarters, says, “Water is a public asset and a finite resource. Goal 6 of the SDGs is to ‘Ensure access to water and sanitation for all,’ and this is an important area where Yokogawa can contribute. Toward this end, the effective utilization of reclaimed water as a sustainable water source for communities is a groundbreaking approach. The efficient purification and provision of safe and secure drinking water requires the understanding of all stakeholders and a lot of revolutionary technology. In order to build a circular ecosystem for water resources and create new value, we will work to further strengthen our collaboration with partners to drive forward co-innovation, and utilizing our capabilities to measure and connect, we will fulfill our responsibilities for the future of our planet.”