GE & ProTech release polymer coagulant research report

Sept. 1, 2004
Report documents the performance, aquatic safety and cost of four polymer coagulants and flocculants used for stormwater treatment...

NAPA, CA, Sept. 1, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- GE Infrastructure Water & Process Technologies, a global water and process treatment products and services provider, and ProTech Services Inc., which provides stormwater treatment systems, today announced the availability of Volume 1 of a Technical Report Series documenting the initial results of their joint research program evaluating polymer coagulants/flocculants for stormwater applications.

The report, "Polymer Coagulants and Flocculants for Stormwater Applications," presents a quantitative evaluation and comparison of four commonly used polymers, based on a series of tests conducted with stormwater from a working construction site. The data documents a wide range in performance and cost for the various polymers tested. For example, the optimum dose (the dose required to produce the optimum water quality) ranged from 25 ppm (parts per million) to over 1,000 ppm, and polymer cost estimates ranged from approximately $200 to over $10,000 per million gallons of water treated. The aquatic safety data showed no demonstrable toxicity of any polymer in treated water as long as the polymers are properly dosed, yet there are significant differences in the toxicity of the free (dissolved in solution) polymers. The 11-page report is free, and is available online, electronically or in hard copy format by contacting ProTech.

"This study was initiated to fill a gap in the information currently available on polymer use in stormwater treatment," says Christopher Ott, Chief Technology Officer for ProTech. "We've used polymer coagulants in numerous stormwater treatment systems, and we needed objective data on water treatment efficiency - especially aquatic safety - to present to clients and regulators, as well as to design our systems."

The report evaluates four common polymers in terms of clarification efficiency, aquatic safety, and cost. The polymers include two synthetic (aluminum chlorhydroxide and Diallydimethyl Ammonium Chloride, or DADMAC) and two derived from natural materials (Chitosan and Mimosa tree bark). Applying EPA and industry standard methods, a series of tests were conducted using stormwater collected from a working construction site in the Sacramento Valley. The stormwater was extremely turbid, exceeding 1000 NTU (nephelometric turbidity units), and containing abundant iron oxides and colloidal material.

"We have decades of experience with polymer coagulants and flocculants," states Rengarajan Ramesh, global technology leader for GE's Water & Process Technologies. "But stormwater applications are relatively new, and quite different from industrial and other traditional applications. Until now, the available data - both on GE's as well as other polymer products - has been insufficient to make quantitative comparisons. We are conducting this research to bring the data on stormwater applications up to the same standards that we apply to other water treatment processes."

A summary of the test results was presented for the first time at the StormCon 2004 conference in Palm Desert, California on July 28, generating a great deal of interest and favorable comments. The complete text of Volume 1 of the Report is now being made available to the stormwater community and other interested parties. To download an online version of the Report, visit GE and ProTech are continuing their polymer research program, and will be announcing program details and more test results in the near future.

About GE Infrastructure Water & Process Technologies
GE Infrastructure Water & Process Technologies, the integration of GE Betz and GE Osmonics, is a leading global supplier of water, wastewater and process systems solutions. Water & Process Technologies delivers customer value by improving performance and product quality and by reducing operating costs and extending equipment life in a broad range of products and services. These products and services are used to optimize total water/process system performance, safeguard customer assets from corrosion, fouling and scaling, and protect the environment through water and energy conservation. For more information, visit

About ProTech Services
ProTech provides complete mobile water treatment services for construction, environmental, agricultural, and many other applications. Whether customers require stormwater control, sediment or contaminant removal, or pollution prevention, ProTech has a cost effective, safe, and easy to maintain solution. The Company can provide everything from design and engineering, planning and permit application, system installation and maintenance, to reporting and compliance documentation. Based on the Company's own patented technologies as well as proven equipment from its nationwide technology partner firms, ProTech offers a comprehensive range of treatment technologies including clarification, oil/water separation, chemical treatment, and cartridge and membrane filtration, designed and optimized for the individual customer application. ProTech's services and equipment are available for short or long-term projects, and can be provided as components in the customer's water treatment system, or as complete turn-key systems. ProTech offers rapid mobilization and first-rate field support, at very competitive pricing. For more information, visit


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