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    Innovation Through Pilot Testing

    by Pete Betts

    Tonka Water's Pilot Study Mobile Lab

    A Tonka Water pilot study can provide the answers a city needs for a unique full-scale process design or state regulatory approval. Tonka Water’s pilot capabilities include on-site bench testing, preliminary assessment testing, performance testing and process equipment simulation for the removal of contaminants. Tonka Water pilots test new and innovative products, processes and technologies to remove unwanted contaminants.


    Every pilot study is treated differently and with its own custom equipment solution. Tonka Water’s complete systems can be crated and shipped to be erected on-site for all applications and includes necessary chemical feed systems. Some demonstrations require less than one week or as long as your program requires. Pilot trailers are fully equipped and available for remote sites and/or to meet any spacing constraints.


    Sarasota County


    The fresh waters of Cow Pen Slough in Sarasota County contain variable levels of algae and high dissolved organic carbon and color.To reduce the impact of this water on a sensitive estuary, and to develop an alternative water source thus satisfying far reaching objectives, the County worked with Carollo Engineers to demonstrate recovery and treatment of this water source at a scale that would fully reveal the cost of treatment.The challenging waters of Cow Pen Slough required multiple treatment processes working together to achieve desirable drinking water quality. Carollo turned to Tonka Water for its ion exchange technology and experience with Florida waters to integrate ion exchange technology into the Cow Pen Slough pilot testing project. Tonka Water’s ion exchange pilot stripped the vast majority of color and TOC from the water, dramatically improving the performance of membrane treatment and reducing the potential for DBP formation.


    Gautier, MS


    The Public Works Department of the City of Gautier, MS considered several treatment process to achieve consistent color removal in the groundwater. A bench-scale pilot study was conducted to analyze the performance of ion exchange which proved to be effective. A larger pilot was then conducted by Tonka Water, Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood as well as the Public Works Department of the City of Gautier, to further confirm the reduction of color in the groundwater. An ion exchange process was initially considered based on the bench-scale pilot; however, the larger pilot did not provide the same results. The large pilot has the capability to run for a longer period of time, simulate the true water treatment process and revealed the pre-treatment would be required to achieve treatment. The treatment process was modified during the pilot and the treatment objectives were immediately met. “Tonka Water’s pilot provided priceless insight to the treatability of the groundwater. The treatment process includes chemical oxidation and coagulation followed by filtration and ion exchange,” said Tony Reid of Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood. The project is through design phase and with the State awaiting various permits prior to construction. Construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2014.

    Water Reuse


    Water ReuseMany cities throughout the country have the need for wastewater reuse. Oftentimes their wastewater can be easily retreated and reused for irrigation or injected back into wells for storage. Since wastewater has additional pathogens and contaminants, it must be treated before a reuse. A large southwestern utility is employing Tonka Water system backed by pilot results to reuse their wastewater. Other cities are taking advantage of Tonka Water pilots to evaluate water reuse for all benefits it provides.

    With the use of Tonka Water’s UF membrane pilot, a large utility in metro California is treating their wastewater effluent, filtering it with Tonka Water’s ultrafiltration pilot and then through an RO pilot.The county hopes to use the treated wastewater effluent to increase their water supply and maintain the high water quality.

    Tonka Water has the flexibility and innovation to customize its pilots to meet the needs of any municipality. Whether a bench top test or full-scale pilot is required, Tonka Water can assist. Many factors need to be considered when upgrading an existing water treatment plant or developing a new plant. With over 2200 installations and pilots, Tonka Water understands the complexity of each city’s water and the needs that must be met.