Bespoke reverse osmosis system provides clean drinking water in the Philippines
Water contamination is a common and widespread health risk throughout South-East Asia.
To purify drinking water in many countries across this region, a process called ‘reverse osmosis’ is used to make water safe for human consumption.
It’s considered one of the most effective forms of water filtration, and works by pushing water through a microscopically small membrane that catches larger molecules of contaminants, organic materials and even salt.
Where it was originally designed to desalinate seawater, reverse osmosis is now in use in many government, commercial and military applications, including consulates, as Advanced Piping Systems learnt at the beginning of this year.
In January, our expert team fabricated a unique and complex reverse osmosis filtration system for a diplomatic facility in the Philippines, on behalf of a client.
With an incredibly small footprint, this bespoke fabrication was part of a building-wide upgrade to the facility’s existing water infrastructure.
A unique, modular design
To ensure the reverse osmosis filtration system could fit inside containers and transportable skids to be shipped from Adelaide to Manilla, its design was modular by nature.
Fabricating the modular design to the project’s requirements required specialist poly pipe expertise, along with a collaborative client relationship, Dave Evans, Quality Control Officer at Advanced Piping Systems said.
“The level of filtration required was of a very high standard, so it needed an expert solution,” he said.
“The building also had a unique footprint…it was a very awkward shape, which meant that compact modules had to be installed across multiple storeys within the building.
“We worked very closely and intensively with our client to ensure the project met all specifications, including tight tolerancing and high-quality components and control.”
No room for error
A primary reason Advanced Piping Systems was selected for this job was thanks to our previous experience working on projects that required very tight tolerances.
“All the work we have done together with our client has been to very tight tolerances,” Dave said.
“So, we were chosen for our ability to produce tight spools in an enclosed case, which is a very intricate and exacting fabrication, requiring a great deal of precision.”
As part of this project, our team was required to supply and fabricate PE pipe spools including manifolds with up to 24 off takes, with 1 to 2mm tolerances.
“This project had an enormous amount of small diameter welds on fittings below 63mm, and the manifold systems needed to be hand-welded, and obviously to a high standard each time,” Dave said.
“Controlling dimensions and shrinkage during welding PE100 is critical and takes an extreme level of skill and attention to detail by the fabricators.
“The number of outlets in the short double-sided manifolds could be a nightmare for any fabricator, so we developed a work process to enable repeatability for all manifolds, which took a lot of sweat out of the job.”
To ensure the precision of the fabricated spools they are inspected to meet the Advanced Piping 12 point QC check, before moving to the pressure testing phase.
As part of the testing process, each manifold was tested to double working pressure — the clients’ Process Engineer also worked onsite with our team to witness and audit our process and pressure testing.
With a high number of manifolds required in a very short timeframe — with the added complexity of the project occurring during a holiday period — having all fittings available on the shelf made a big difference to the success of the project..
“It was the holiday break, and the fabrications needed to be packed, freighted and shipped all while meeting tight international shipping schedules,” Dave said.
“Thankfully, all our fittings were available on the shelf, which enabled us to have a fast start up and quick delivery for this project.”
The completed modular PE piping system arrived on time and on budget, ready to be bolted on site with local contractors – leading to more work in the pipeline with a valued client partner.