Guest Column | May 21, 2014

Behind The Screen: When Protecting MBRs, There's More To Pre-Screening Technology Than Just Screens

Jim Lauria

By Jim Lauria


There’s no doubt that effective pretreatment enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) plant — removing hair, fibers, and inorganic solids from influent at the very start creates benefits that resonate throughout the entire process.  The heart of pretreatment is a good screen — but good screening technology goes well beyond the screen itself to include seals, cleaning mechanisms, and logic controls as well.

The real differentiation appears in the system’s details, like how the drum and auger are driven, or how the drum seals are designed.  Flaws in those details can create highways for escaped solids that should have been entrained in the screen system.  They open the door to cleaning and maintenance challenges, reduce energy efficiency, or establish dead-ends that collect solids and reduce the effectiveness of the plant’s vital first line of defense.