Horizontal filtration is a completely new innovation for the AguaClara team, arising from a desire to make the 1 L/s plants easier to make and ship by eliminating the Enclosed Stacked Rapid Sand Filter. To create a horizontal filter, aspects of the sedimentation tanks and current filter design will be used, such as the relationship between backwash and operational speed, as well as the design of the plate settlers. Our goals for the semester are to begin design and fabrication of a horizontal flow filter. This will involve characterization of key parameters, using Fusion360 to make a model of the system, and fabrication of a prototype.
The goal of the Sensor Development subteam is to create sensors that help monitor water quality during the water treatment process, for the purpose of improving experimentation in other subteams and facilitating the work of plant operators. In particular, the team has been working on a particle concentration and turbidity sensor for the last few semesters, beginning with a fluidized bed solids detector developed for in-lab use and now a submersible solids detector for field use. The submersible solids detector is the main focus for the team this semester. Two different designs based on an endoscope and a pre-developed turbidity sensor will be tested to measure the height of the sludge blanket in the sedimentation tanks.
High Flow Float Valve is a fabrication team that will fabricate a float valve to alleviate distribution tank overflow during off-peak hours. The high flow float valve will control the flow rate of water into the distribution tank. The distribution tank is the storage tank for clean water exiting the treatment plant before it is distributed to the community, and overflows when the tank is full. Overflow happens mainly during off-peak hours from midnight to dawn when demand is low. Avoiding overflow is desirable because the excess treated drinking water is wasted. To avoid the tank overflowing, the float valve will decrease the flow rate as the tank fills up.
The purpose of the Ram Pump team is to design and develop a properly functioning hydraulic ram pump, or hydram, for implementation in AguaClara plants. The hydram can be used to deliver water from below the facility back to the top for utilization in chemical stock tanks or to collect water at higher elevations for alternative uses.