Group Five


2, 5 m3/hr water treatment plant for cleaning solar panels and potable use

Download Full Case Study – Group 5

Company Profile

Group Five is a company Headquartered in South Africa who are involved in infrastructure, energy, resources and real estate sectors. The company’s capabilities range from project development, investment, construction, operations and maintenance and the manufacturing and supply of construction products. They are largely focused in Sub-Saharan Africa and also have operations in Europe. They employ 8000 people and have operating experience in 28 countries.

Technical Situation

Group Five understands the water shortage crisis experienced by South Africa and the rest of the African continent so they wanted to reduce their water usage by treating borehole water for potable use as well as for use in the washing of solar panels. The process requirements for the product water was that one stream must be as per specification for cleaning water and the other stream must be as per DWAF standards at least a class 0 or -1 quality for potable use.


In order to meet the process requirements, the Water Icon engineers designed a containerized water treatment plant which consisted of a Reverse Osmosis system, an anti-scalent chemical dosing system, an ultraviolet disinfection system as well as a CIP system. The various components of the plant work together to produce effluent that may be used for potable as well as cleaning purposes. The RO purifies the water and removes impurities using high pressure membranes, the anti-scalent dosing is necessary to pro long the life of the RO membranes by reducing scaling and scum formation caused by calcium and magnesium ions. The UV disinfection system is for the potable water use and the Clean in Place system is more cost effective than replacing membranes.

The water treatment plant consisted of the following:

  • Anti-scalent dosing system
  • pH correction
  • Filtration

Process description

The feed water is fed from a raw water tank via a feed pump into the filters. After filtration a dosing system is then incorporated with in-line dosing of anti-scalent and pH correction this forms part of pre-treatment. The pre-treated water is the pumped via an pump into the RO machine which further purifies the water using high pressure membranes. From the RO machine the water is pumped into a treated water tank. The treated water tank has a potable water stream with UV disinfection which pumps water into a tank for potable use and another stream which pumps the brine and backwash disposal to the evaporation pond. The water before the UV disinfection can be used for the washing of the solar panels.

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