Large Diameter Membranes at Scottsdale Water Campus – Advantages and Challenges of Operation

Last Modified: Feb 14, 2018


  • Daniela Panfil, Troy Walker - Hazen and Sawyer
  • Binga Talabi - City of Scottsdale

The Scottsdale Water Campus in Arizona is an innovative water reuse facility, using microfiltration, reverse osmosis (RO), and ultraviolet (UV) treatment processes to recycle tertiary effluent for a variety of reuse applications, including golf course irrigation and aquifer recharge. With an overall plant capacity of 20 mgd, the plant has a combination of RO trains using 8” diameter membrane elements and RO trains using 16” diameter membrane elements.

Higher than anticipated conductivity was identified in 2016 in the RO permeate of the large diameter trains. An evaluation was conducted by the City of Scottsdale consisting of individual pressure vessel conductivity profiling, followed by probing of the permeate tube in each vessel. In addition, a unique video inspection of the permeate tube in each vessel was conducted to provide a visual assessment of the permeate tube and seal condition.

In combination with normalized historical data and the aforementioned analyses, it was evident that the trains experienced an event that contributed to the membrane damage and resulted in higher than anticipated conductivity.

This paper provides an overview of the large diameter membrane assessment, including a review of operating and troubleshooting data. It will identify some of the advantages of large diameter membranes along with some of the operational challenges in terms of troubleshooting and identification of damaged membranes.

For more information, please contact the author at

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