Hotels and resorts are now taking advantage of in-house water treatment facilities to cater for their water needs as opposed to purchasing water from external sources.
Leading Water and Energy solutions company Davis & Shirtliff noted this as it commissioned a new treatment facility this year at a new resort in Naivasha, Nakuru County where an ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis plant was installed.
At the commissioning, Davis & Shirtliff’s Water Engineer Bernard Rono noted that water treatment at a larger commercial scale was being embraced by companies in different sectors and especially those in the manufacturing and hospitality industries.
“This is one of several such projects we are commissioning this year. This rising trend I would say has been born from the need by such resorts and other companies to be self-sufficient and reduce the costs of operation and production. For example the resort wanted to ensure it can cater to all its water needs for the long term and in-turn reduce the cost of operation incurred from short term plans,” Mr Rono explained.
The ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis plant will turn the raw water the resort sources from boreholes and Lake Naivasha into water that is fit for human consumption and water that they can package for their guests under their own brand.
The plant as Mr Rono explained incorporated two water treatment methods to ensure that the end product is completely purified.
He explained that: “We had to do tests of the water they source from boreholes and the lake before determining what method of treatment is best. The reason we settled on both is because the tests revealed that the water contained both suspended solid matter that was harmful and dissolved matter. The two methods; ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis ensures that it removes these elements from water and gives you completely purified water. Most bottled water companies actually employ this method.”
Water from the treatment process that is considered waste can be used for other uses such as flushing toilets, irrigation or watering the grounds and lawns as is in the case of hotels.
“This process gives you a limitless platform to leverage on the water you get despite its source. In this case the resort can even consider selling the water from the plant commercially on-top of what they intend to use themselves,” Mr Rono explained.
The ultrafiltration process will produce 25,000 liters per hour while the reverse osmosis process which gives the end product will produce 15,000 liters per hour.
The Davis & Shirtliff Water Engineer explained that the maintenance for such a water treatment plant involves the occasional cleaning of the filters and membranes that trap all the dirt from the water.
“We give a general timeframe of four months but this can vary depending on just how much water is filtered in a given time. We use chemicals to clean the filters and the membranes because dirt is trapped in them over time. If you see the pressure levels have increased even before the four months’ time has lapsed then it could be an indication that it is time for a cleaning,” he explained.
He added that they are able to monitor the systems of the plant remotely and are able to identify a problem sometimes even before their client realizes there is an issue.
Mr Rono said he expected the need for in-house water treatment will continue to rise both domestically and commercially as people become more aware of the dangers that lurk in untreated water and to avoid the long term cost of buying water.