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Nieto A.,Rovira i Virgili University | Ruana J.,Consorci dAigues de Tarragona CAT | Pujol X.,Consorci dAigues de Tarragona CAT | Colom A.,Consorci dAigues de Tarragona CAT | And 3 more authors.
Radioprotection | Year: 2015

In recent years, a decontamination project has been under way to remove the polluted sludge on the riverbed of the Ebro river, particularly in the area of Flix (Tarragona, Spain). This project started in 2011 and consists of the removal of the sludge and its treatment in a process that will eventually restore the river to its natural conditions. The sludge is a product of the historical dumping of contaminants by a chemical complex situated next to the river, and it contains a range of contaminants, such as heavy metals, semi- and volatile organic compounds, and radionuclides. Downstream of the complex, in the town of L'Ampolla, a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) is located. This plant collects the water from the Ebro river and, after potabilisation, the plant supplies drinking water to the population of southern Catalonia. Due to the possible presence of radionuclides in the river water, it was considered important to monitor and control the radioactivity parameters regulated under current legislation for water consumption. For this reason, in this study, our aim is to evaluate if the decontamination work carried out in Flix has any effects on the radioactivity levels of both Ebro river and treated water, by means of the determination of gross alpha activity, gross beta activity and a group of gamma emitter radionuclides at three different sampling points in the period between 2008 and 2012. One sampling point was located a few kilometres from the Flix area and the other two were located before and after the DWTP, respectively. From the results obtained, it could be observed that no significant differences were obtained between the samples taken before and after the beginning of the decontamination process began, so it is important to highlight that this project has not affected the quality of the water supplied by the DWTP. © EDP Sciences 2015.

Nieto A.,Rovira i Virgili University | Palomo M.,Rovira i Virgili University | Ruana J.,Consorci DAigues de Tarragona CAT | Penalver A.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 2 more authors.
Water Environment Research | Year: 2013

The objective of drinking water treatment plants (DWTP) is to supply the population with tap water that is in optimal condition and in compliance with water quality regulations. In the DWTP of L'Ampolla (Tarragona, Spain), slightly high values of gross alpha activity and the amount of salts in the raw water have been observed. Conventional treatment has reduced these levels only minimally. This study tested a tertiary treatment based on reverse osmosis is tested in an industrial pilot plant (240 m3/day) The efficiency of this pilot plant to reduce the gross alpha and beta activities and the activity of some individual radioisotopes (U238, U234, U 235 and Ra226) was tested. Results showed that the elimination of alpha emitters was greater than 90%, whereas the elimination of beta emitters was about 35%. Overall, the data provided evidence that the pilot plant is effective for removing different radionuclides that can be present in the incoming water treated. Therefore, tertiary treatment based on reverse osmosis has a positive effect in water quality.

Ruana J.F.,Consorci dAigues de Tarragona CAT | Bernaola F.J.,Abengoa | Frutos A.R.,Abengoa | Pujol X.,Consorci dAigues de Tarragona CAT
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2013

The drinking water treatment plant of the Consorci d'Aigües de Tarragona (CAT) is located in the town of L'Ampolla (Spain) and supplies drinking water in the province of Tarragona (345.000m3/d). The raw water intake is located at the low river basin of Ebro river, which has sporadically high values in salinity. In this sense, a semi-industrial plant has been developed and operated by the CAT and Abengoa Water in order to obtain data for the development of a large-scale plant with a capacity of 250,000m3/d. The main objective of these tests are maximised in the salt rejection and the global water recovery as well as minimised in the costs for the industrial plant. The idea was to develop and test different configurations of integrated membrane systems. Therefore, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis were initially installed and tested. Nowadays, microfiltration and nanofiltration has been installed and tested with the existing systems. This paper presents the main characteristics of the pilot plant, results and conclusions obtained during the last operation stage up to the date. © 2013 Desalination Publications.

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