Clean water is the life blood of our environment and it is being rendered unfit for human consumption and recreation more and more every day. Nutrient pollution is devastating our lakes, rivers, estuaries, and large coastal areas. The entire country, from the Great Lakes to coastal Florida, has been impacted by nutrient pollution with seasonal toxic algae blooms measured in square miles. Unfortunately, traditional phosphorus removal processes have typically focused on the removal of sediments or lower water column phosphorus, and leave the phosphorus in the ecosystem. Storm water treatment areas, while effective, are more costly and leave the nutrients on the bottom in the form of nutrient-rich sediments that must periodically be removed.
The environment at Lake Apopka is very similar to a marine environment, which makes the steel very susceptible to corrosion. ~ Donald Luke, COO at Phosphorus Free Water Solutions
Phosphorus Free Water Solutions is passionate about the reversal of this process and has created a novel, environmentally friendly process to remove harmful nutrients from contaminated waters, wherever they are found, in order to prevent future algae growth, reduce fish kills, and improve overall water quality.
Phosphorus Free Water Solutions is a group of scientists, engineers, chemists, and construction & financial professionals, all under one roof who, together, have created a solution to remove the problem-causing nutrients from water. Their approach focuses solely on completely removing all soluble phosphorus from the ecosystem, permanently. Their patented processes and systems return clean “marsh and lake-ready” water to its source, requiring a minimal footprint and without creating harmful byproducts.
Located in Central Florida, just Northwest of Orlando, lies Lake Apopka, which is Florida’s second-largest lake. Decades of agricultural activities on the north shore of the lake, combined with waste water discharges, has rendered Lake Apopka highly impaired. Water column phosphorus reached as high as 200 parts per billion. In 2017, Phosphorus Free Water Solutions conducted a 90-day, 24/7 technology demonstration on the north shore of Lake Apopka. The purpose of this demonstration was to display the removal of the multiple forms of phosphorus. Their innovative system pulls the “dirty” water directly from the lake, filters out the phosphorus, and then returns the clean water back to the lake. The phosphorus fuels the growth of toxic algae, red tide, and encourages excess vegetation growth in our waterways. The phosphorus that is removed from the lake is then combined with other elements and eventually turned into potting soil.
As a direct result of PFWS’s successful demonstration, they were awarded a “First-of-Kind” commercial scale, high-tech, phosphorus removal project on Lake Apopka. Using proprietary technologies created using extensive research, Phosphorus Free Water Solutions is able to remove up to 99% of the phosphorus present in the water. The Phosphorus Free Water Solutions process is safe and environmentally sound with no waste other than filter media. There is no chemical discharge, and all of the treated water meets Class III Standards. The max throughput of the Lake Apopka project is 10 million gallons per day.
The entire facility at Lake Apopka was built using approximately 70 tons of galvanized steel, consisting of many structural beams and beam assemblies, frames, platforms, stairs, ladders and catwalks. The decision to specify hot-dip galvanizing was simple. This is a long-term project sitting in the middle of a highly corrosive environment. Corrosion protection was the highest priority when choosing a coating type. Donald Luke, COO at Phosphorus Free Water Solutions, who has an extensive history in the water treatment business, said “the environment at Lake Apopka is very similar to a marine environment, which makes the steel very susceptible to corrosion.”
Constant communication and collaboration between the owner and galvanizer were critical in achieving a hot-dip galvanized coating that adhered to the strict ASTM A123 specification. Per A385 specification, proper venting and drainage holes were used to ensure that the galvanized coating was smooth and uniform throughout, which led to an even greater overall aesthetic appeal. Cost was also a major determinant when deciding what coating to choose. Not only is the hot-dip galvanized coating cheaper than a paint coating initially, after many years of case studies, evidence proves the life-cycle cost of a hot-dip galvanized coating is unmatched. In a tropical marine environment, time to first maintenance, or 5% rusting of the steel surface, is estimated to be 50-90 years.
With little to no maintenance for decades to come, Phosphorus Free Water Solutions has engineered and designed a truly sustainable structure that’s not only great for the environment, but great for future generations that recreate on Lake Apopka.
Water & Marine
Apopka, FL United States
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Initial Cost, Life-Cycle Cost, Prior HDG Experience, Quality of HDG, Sustainability
Structural beams and beam assemblies, frames, platforms, stairs, ladders, catwalks.
Phosphorus Free Water Solutions
Valmont Coatings - Tampa Galvanizing
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