Drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) filtration system for arsenic removal – Toquepala copper mine, Peru
Case study with Amiad Filtration Systems.
The Toquepala mine is a large copper mine in the Tacna Province in Peru, on the border with Chile and Bolivia. The mine is situated far from nearby towns and cities and is operated by between 800-900 employees living on-site. The soil and water sources surrounding the mine are contaminated with arsenic, classified as Group 1.
The design of the drinking water treatment plant needed to consider contamination removal (silt, biological material, as well as residual of iron and algae) to reach a level
of less than 1 NTU, as well as to bring the arsenic level down from the current 80-100 ppb to less than 10 ppb. The removal of arsenic proved to be particularly challenging, as it dissolves in water and needs to be altered to its particulate form so it can be captured on the filtration media. The system also had to comply to the
strict ASME code design requirements. The remoteness of the site posed a number of logistical challenges. As the testing labs were distant, water quality results were delayed, making it difficult to determine how to proceed with the final design. Getting supplies and equipment delivered to the site also increased the operational complexity.
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