Water Filtration and Membrane Maintenance

Membrane filtration is a crucial part of wastewater treatment as it is responsible for separating suspended particles or dissolved components in liquid. Membrane filtration systems are increasingly more advanced and complex, which offers significant benefits in terms of producing high-quality effluent for reuse or discharge. However poor maintenance or ineffective set-up of systems can be very costly for industrial and municipal treatment plants.

Our operations and maintenance team are experts at optimising and improving efficiency of membrane filtration systems, which has led to significant cost savings for customers and increased the lifespan of their assets.

In this article we explain the various membrane and filtration systems available, how you can cut operating costs and gain maximum benefit from existing assets, and provide advice for finding the most cost-effective and efficient solution when it is time to upgrade or repair.

How to cut operating costs and increase lifespan of water filtration assets

Membrane filtration systems use high pressure to force water through the membranes. Fouling or blockages in the membrane drive up energy costs and cause performance issues as the system works harder to push water through.

  • Implementing a formal plan for maintenance and equipment cleaning incorporating increased activity for critical assets will ensure efficiency and reduce the risk of equipment downtime.
  • Reviewing performance and optimising mechanical cleaning processes can markedly reduce costs. In fact, two of our customers recently saved over 10% in energy costs by optimising CIP processes and operations on their membrane systems.
  • Monitoring the treatment process and analysing data can identify areas to fine-tune such as adjusting chemical dosages, mixing/aeration rates and settings to improve efficiency and deliver significant savings.

Common types of wastewater filtration system


A microfiltration system uses a porous membrane to separate suspended particles and larger molecules from a liquid or gas. It selectively allows smaller particles and solvent to pass through while trapping larger contaminants.


Ultrafiltration systems employ a semi-permeable membrane to separate suspended solids, bacteria, and macromolecules from wastewater. It is highly effective in purifying wastewater to achieve higher levels of water quality and meet stringent regulatory standards.


Nanofiltration technology uses specialised membranes to remove various contaminants, including dissolved solids, organic compounds, and divalent ions. This process is effective in producing high-quality treated water, suitable to reuse.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems use a semipermeable membrane to remove dissolved solids, ions, and contaminants from wastewater. It operates by applying pressure to push water molecules through the membrane while blocking larger molecules and impurities. This produces high quality purified water for reuse, or to meet strict regulatory standards.

Refurbishment and remedial work on membrane filtration systems

Refurbishment and remedial work on filtration and MBR systems can be complex, high risk and expensive, so it is critical to get it right. Alpheus are specialists in operations, maintenance and construction of wastewater treatment assets and lead the way in safety to ensure work is carried out safely and effectively.

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Membrane replacement

To ensure continued and efficient running of the filtration systems, membranes should be replaced every five to ten years (depending on the type and condition). As an independent provider, we are often able to supply and fit high quality membranes and parts at a more competitive price than purchasing from the original manufacturer, as we have access to a wide range of approved suppliers.

Our experienced team are highly trained in specialist Health and Safety practices such as Confined Spaces and lifting operations, and are optimisation specialists, so you can be assured of a quality installation.

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Set-up and recommissioning of membrane filtration systems

Many membrane filtration systems incorporate automated Cleaning In Place (CIP) technology. However, incomplete or inefficient set up could contribute to higher energy costs and lead to performance issues and compliance issues.

Different plants and sectors will have unique needs, so CIP systems should be set up, monitored and optimised on an ongoing basis. It is not uncommon for these systems to be ineffectively set up.

Don't just take our word for it

Read how we helped a leading plant based food manufacturer recover their membranes and establish cleaning programmes to make significant cost savings and improve plant performance.

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