Service de l’Eau starts pilot with NX Filtration to remove chlorothalonil in Switzerland

Service de l’Eau, the drinking and wastewater utility of the city of Lausanne in Switzerland, has initiated a pilot programme with NX Filtration’s direct nanofiltration technology to remove chlorothalonil from its water sources.

Chlorothalonil is an agricultural fungicide, often used to protect potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes and other vegetables, that has been classified as a probable carcinogen by the European Commission. Its degradation products are found widely in groundwater on the Swiss Plateau. This has also affected two water sources of Service de l’Eau, which have therefore been put out of operation.

Over the last year, Service de l’Eau investigated various potential technologies to eliminate chlorothalonil, including activated carbon, advanced oxidation processes, reverse osmosis as well as NX Filtration’s direct nanofiltration (dNF) technology. Small-scale lab tests with dNF showed “positive results” on the removal of chlorothalonil, according to NX Filtration, which then drove Service de l’Eau to scale-up its testing programme with a full-scale Mexpert pilot unit.

Christopher Mechouk, head of the engineering division of the water department of the city of Lausanne, Service de l’Eau, commented: “Chlorothalonil is a major issue for many Swiss water utilities. NX Filtration’s dNF membranes already showed promising performance on lab-scale, and we are looking forward to now expanding our tests with NX Filtration in real-life conditions.”

Christian Dinaux, sales manager for NX Filtration in Belgium, France and Switzerland, added: “Our dNF technology is highly effective in removing contaminations while keeping minerals that are desirable in drinking water. Contrary to other filtration technologies, dNF enables the treatment of polluted waters in a simple one-step process, with lower energy usage and avoiding the use of pre-treatment chemicals.

“We’re proud that Service de l’Eau is now expanding its testing programme with our full-scale Mexpert pilot system.”