Purer, tastier, better: new filtration technology for Moscow drinking water

Purer, tastier, better: new filtration technology for Moscow drinking water
Already this August, residents in western, northwestern and central Moscow will be able to drink better quality water. A new ozone filtration unit will be launched at the Rublevskaya water treatment plant that supplies water to 26 districts in these areas.

A building that covers an area of two stadiums has been built at the Rublevskaya water treatment plant. Its interior would fit well into a fiction film: various pipes, septic tanks, water pumps, and large mixing tanks with boiling water.

This new water filtration unit will run using the latest water purifying technology based on ozone sorption. This means Moscow flats will be supplied with purer and safer water, deprived of all harmful bacteria but with its salt composition intact.

“The traditional water treatment process included treatment in septic tanks and filtration,” said Sergei Fomichyov, Head of Mosvodokanal’s Rublevskaya water treatment plant. “From the septic tank, water used to go through sand filters and its quality became better. This has been the case for a hundred years. The new technology is based on ozone and coal filters. These are tanks that contain coal granules instead of sand. Water treated this way has a better quality.”

Sergei Fomichyov, Director of Mosvodokanal’s Rublevskaya water treatment plant

Removing colour and odour

Even though the new unit will be launched in August, the future water treatment stages have already been revealed.

In order to test the new equipment, experts filled four mixing tanks with water and set them into operation mode, leaving other mixing tanks empty so far. Here the water is mixed with coagulants that help to remove colour and odour.

All the processes are displayed on special monitors. One or two controllers watch the water treatment process because the equipment can be digitally manipulated with special software. This water at this stage is not yet ready to be directed to the flats, it has to go through a water treatment process. Septic tanks are in full operation mode, the system is just starting up. The water in the tanks goes up via inclined ribbed surfaces that filter suspended solids and send them down to settle. At the bottom, there is a special scraper that removes the sediment.

The new water purification process now includes the ozone and absorbent coal treatment phase that will replace chlorine, as ozone is a far stronger oxidant. Once mixed with the air, ozone oxidizes all the suspended solids that have to be removed from the water. Ozone sorption also rids water of the specific odour of the Moskva River, which is crucial, even if this water contains few pesticides, herbicides or any other harmful substances.

Specialists at the new unit are preparing to use measuring instruments such as flow meters, water level meters, pressure sensors and other equipment. The plastering and decorating are nearly finished, and building works have been totally completed.

Nearly 65 percent of water at the Rublevskaya water treatment plant is already purified using the new technology. Once the new unit is launched (with a capacity of 320,000 cu m), this figure will rise to nearly 100 percent.

The purer water will go to residents of Mitino, Strogino, Kuntsevo, Presnensky and other districts in western, northwestern and central Moscow. Next to the new water treatment unit, there will be an ozone plant, which is under construction. The plant will run with the help of Russian-made equipment and will provide ozone for water filtration to the new unit.

Moscow’s oldest water treatment plant

The Rublevskaya water treatment plant is the oldest of the four water plants in Moscow - it was launched in 1903.

Water flows here through mesh catch filters that sieve rubbish and fish – these are sent back to the river via a special fish pipe.

The pumping station is loaded unevenly, with the peak of activity in the morning and evening when people wake up and then when they return home from work. In these hours, station workers have to switch on additional pumps. At present, the Rublevskaya plant pumps 650,000 cu m of drinking water per day (about 25 percent of all the four stations).