Your desalination unit is one of the water treatment systems on your offshore rig that helps ensure that you have the water you need for daily functions at sea. As such, it’s critically important to the safety of your crew. Offshore platforms are often located in the most remote, inhospitable places on the planet. Entire crews—often, hundreds of people—work on and call these platforms home.
In order for your crew to be safe and healthy, it’s crucial that fresh water is available at all times. On-site water desalination units provide a reliable source of water purification.
These types of seawater desalination systems use reverse osmosis (RO) technology, which uses a pressure-based filtration process to separate pure water from seawater.
If you don’t have a properly working desalination unit, you could be liable for danger to your crew and guests.
Proper Maintenance of a Desalination Unit
When you’re establishing your routine for keeping your desalination unit in working order, a simple walk by can make a world of difference. Once a day, check the visible surfaces of your unit, glance at the gauge pressures, and take a note of what the flow rates and TDS/salinity readings are. This will also help you get a good idea as to what’s normal for your unit.
Various parts of your unit will need refills, changes, or replacement from time to time, including your pH neutralizer, consistent chlorine injections, and the cartridge or bag filters in your unit. Having professionals come in when anything out of the ordinary happens will also help extend the life of your machine.
The alternative to this upkeep is desalination that doesn’t do its job properly, which can result in unsafe conditions for your crew. You could also set yourself up for an untimely replacement of your entire unit, which could cost anywhere from $16,000-$75,000.
A few minutes of maintenance per day can be well worth it, both for your wallet and the safety of your crew. After all, there are a few specific ways that a desalination unit is able to keep your drinking water safe.
The Three Ways a Desalination Unit Keeps Your Drinking Water Safe
Wondering about the nitty-gritty basics of how your desalination unit works? Here’s what goes on in this all-important water treatment system:
1. A desalination unit removes dissolved solids, salt, and other organic matter from your water for a cleaner final product.
When you’re investing in a water treatment process, take a moment to think about your starting material: Seawater. Seawater is far too salty for humans to drink safely, and salt isn’t the only mineral dissolved in naturally occurring seawater. Seawater is also full of small sea animals, sediment, and microscopic contaminants such as common bacteria and viruses. Seawater is teeming with marine microbes that are hugely beneficial for the ocean atmosphere, but not great for the human body or engineering applications. Reverse osmosis is the best way to ensure that you’re drinking water—and just water.
2. Desalination units often add minerals to reduce the corrosive qualities of pure water.
Pure water is a good starting point, but seawater stripped of all of its mineral attributes can be very harsh on your water treatment systems. Many desalination units solve this before it becomes an issue by adding minerals back into the water—minerals that are completely safe for you, and protective of your system’s integrity.
3. Reverse osmosis technology is more efficient than alternative methods, such as distillation.
This might seem complicated, but ultimately going through the process of reverse osmosis will yield better investment than other types of water treatment. With distillation, for example, you boil the water, wait for it to condense, and then collect that more purified end product. This method is far more energy efficient.
Keep Your Desalination Working Well with H2O
At the end of the day, your desalination unit should provide you with peace of mind. If you’re able to properly maintain your unit, you can be confident that your crew will have safe water to use and drink. You can also be confident that your investment will stand the test of time.
If you have any questions about how to care for your desalination unit or need assistance maintaining the integrity of your offshore water treatment systems, turn to H2O LLC. Our specialists are on hand to provide any expertise you may require. Contact us for education, troubleshooting, and more tips for safety and success.