Intro: DIY Water Treatment Train

This water treatment train combines a few #DIYBMP devices for filtration or adsorption in a number of different water treatment applications:

- stormwater treatment

- pond filtration

- large aquarium filtration

- hydroponics & aquaponics

- aquaculture

- rainwater harvesting

- natural swimming pool

 

This Instructable details how to build a vortex clarifier, filter barrel, and an active media barrel.

Depending on your application and contaminants of concern, each piece could stand alone, be combined with another piece, or included in the full treatment train detailed here.

- for rainwater harvesting, aquaponics, aquaculture, aquariums, and even industrial stormwater treatment. My Instructables about DIY aquatics equipment are meant to share some of the hacks, science, and builds more broadly with others.

Credit: WaterworkLife 

Step 1: Build the Vortex Clarifier

This is a hydrodynamic separator for pre-treatment in a number of different water treatment applications.

 

Target Contaminants - Total Suspended Solids

Estimated Flow- 25 gallons per minute

Action - Separates bulk solids that sink or float; approximately 2 minutes retention to settle bulk solids

Project Estimate - $45

Step 1: Gather Parts

(1) 55 gal drum from local reclaim or Craigslist

(2) Banjo 1.5" bulkhead from Amazon.com

Parts from Home Depot

(1) 1.5" x 2" PVC adapter (MPT x slip)

(1) 2" PVC stub (3")

(1) 2" PVC drop tube (28")

(2) 2" PVC Elbow 90

(1) 1.5" PVC Tee

(1) 1.5" PVC stub (6")

(1) 1.5" PVC adapter (MPT x slip)

 

Step 2: Prep Barrel

Drill holes for the fill tube and skim drain bulkheads, approximately 3" from top of inverted barrel.

Cut hole on top of barrel to receive stormwater from site downspout, diverter, or pump and to allow access for internal plumbing.

Step 3: Install Bulkhead Fittings

Install bulkheads for fill tube and skim drain.

Step 4: Install Internal Plumbing

Install internal adapters into bulkhead fittings.

Install fill tube and skim drain assemblies.

Step 5: Install External Plumbing

Install fill plumbing as desired from source.

Install drain plumbing as desired to reach next treatment step or discharge location.

Depending on the layout and application, elevating the vortex clarifier will enable gravity flow. Three concrete blocks makes a safe and stable platform up to 3 layers tall.

Step 2: Build the Filter Barrel

This is a slow sand filter for filtration in a number of different water treatment applications.

Target Contaminants- Total Suspended Solids

Estimated Flow - 25 gallons per minute

Action - Filters suspended solids

Project Estimate - $130

 

Step 1: Gather Parts

(1) 55 gal drum from local reclaim or Craigslist

(1) Banjo 2" bulkhead from Amazon.com

Parts from Home Depot

(2) 2" PVC adapter (MPT x slip)

(1) 2" PVC perforated underdrain (14") - pre-drill 1/4" holes or cut slits using saw

(1) 2" PVC Cap

(1) 2" PVC riser (34")

(2) 2" PVC stub (3")

(1) 2" PVC stub (6")

(1) 2" PVC Tee

(2) 2" PVC Elbow 90

(1) 2" PVC valve

(4) 2’ x 2’ section weed barrier fabric (separators between the media layers)

 

Step 2: Prep Barrel

Drill hole for the underdrain bulkhead, approximately 3" from bottom of inverted barrel.

Cut hole on top of barrel to receive stormwater from site downspout, diverter, or pump and to allow access for internal plumbing.

 

Step 3: Install Internal Plumbing

Install bulkhead for underdrain.

Connect internal adapter into bulkhead fitting. Install underdrain assembly.

 

Step 4: Install Discharge Plumbing

Install fill plumbing as desired from source.

Install drain plumbing as desired to reach next treatment step or discharge location.

Depending on the layout and application, elevating the filter will enable gravity flow. Three concrete blocks makes a safe and stable platform up to 3 layers tall.

 

Step 5: Install Media Bed

Install media, separating each type with a section of weed barrier fabric.

(4 bags) Drain Rock for drainage support (10" layer)

(4 bags) Pea Gravel for solids separation down to 300 microns (2 x 5" layers)

(6 bags) Pool Filter Sand for solids separation to 30 microns (15" layer) - best pricing at your local pool supply

Step 3: Make the Active Media Barrel

This is a modified slow sand filter for filtration and active adsorption of heavy metals and nutrients.

 

Target Contaminants - Total Suspended Solids

Heavy Metals (Zn, Cu, Al, Fe)

Nutrients (COD, BOD, Ammonia)

Estimated Flow - 25 gallons per minute

Action - Actively adsorbs heavy metals and nutrients

Project Estimate - $240

 

Step 1: Gather Parts

(1) 55 gal drum from local reclaim or Craigslist

(1) Banjo 2" bulkhead from Amazon.com

Parts from Home Depot

(2) 2" PVC adapter (MPT x slip)

(1) 2" PVC perforated underdrain (14") - pre-drill 1/4" holes or cut slits using saw

(1) 2" PVC Cap

(4) 2’ x 2’ section weed barrier fabric (separators between the media layers)

 

Step 2: Prep Barrel

Drill hole for the underdrain bulkhead, approximately 3" from bottom of inverted barrel.

Cut hole on top of barrel to receive stormwater from site downspout, diverter, or pump and to allow access for internal plumbing.

 

Step 3: Install Internal Plumbing

Install bulkhead for underdrain.

Connect internal adapter into bulkhead fitting.

Install underdrain assembly.

 

Step 4: Install Discharge Plumbing

Install fill plumbing as desired from source.

Install drain plumbing as desired to reach next treatment step or discharge location.

Depending on the layout and application, elevating the filter will enable gravity flow. Three concrete blocks makes a safe and stable platform up to 3 layers tall.

 

Step 5: Install Media Bed

Install media, separating each type with a section of weed barrier fabric.

(4 bags) Drain Rock for drainage support (10" layer)

(2 bags) Pea Gravel for solids separation down to 300 microns (5" layer)

(2 bags) Pool Filter Sand for solids separation to 30 microns (5" layer) - best pricing at your local pool supply

(10 bags) Active media - Zeolite for adsorption of metals & nutrients (25" layer) - may be locally available as "horse stall deodorizer" at farm or feed store

Step 4: Assemble the Treatment Train

Depending on your application and contaminants of concern, each piece could stand alone, be combined with another piece, or included in the full treatment train detailed here.

Step 5: ...or Assemble a Hybrid Treatment Train

Note that for some applications, combining the large and small DIYBMPs may work well for isolating active media into a separate container for easier change-out or recharge. See the "Hybrid Treatment Train" examples attached to this step.

DIY WATER TREATMENT TOWER

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