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Water Quality Control with Particle Counter PAMAS WaterViewer

Published: Friday, December 13, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, December 13, 2013
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Faster and more differentiated than turbidimetry: Quality control of potable water through Automatic Particle Counting.

The German company PAMAS develops, manufactures and distributes Automatic Particle Counters for fluid cleanliness control, e.g. of hydraulic or lubricating oil, fuel, pharmaceutical liquids like infusion solutions, WFI (Water for Injection) and process water.

For dedicated water applications, PAMAS offers both portable and online measuring instruments. Portable instruments for water applications are the particle counters of the PAMAS S4031 product series. For online measurement of water, the PAMAS product range provides the PAMAS WaterViewer fulfilling the specific requirements for water quality control: This online particle counter is the ideal instrument for the analysis of potable water, process water, purified waste water or raw water.

The PAMAS WaterViewer has been tried and tested for water applications throughout Europe for many years and has become the trusted measuring instrument for use in water treatment plants and water distribution networks. PAMAS Automatic Particle Counters (APCs) deliver faster and more accurate measuring results than turbidimeters or nephelometers.

They also provide a more sensitive, differentiated measuring result: Beyond the collective amount of particles, an APC detects, counts and measures each and every single particle. In an online environment, the trending of these results shows much more interesting events.

There are various existing methods to determine whether water is clean and free from particulate contamination. In water treatment systems, both particle counters and turbidimeters or nephelometers are used for water quality control. Turbidimeters and nephelometers measure the collective amount of solid contaminants in liquids.

The more turbid a liquid is, the higher the measuring value will be. Contrary to this, Automatic Particle Counters do not measure the collective amount of solid particles, they analyze size and quantity of each single particle which is part of that population in the online sample flow.

The knowledge of the particle sizes is of paramount importance in water applications, as it helps to quickly identify certain types of bacteria or even a failure in the system (e.g. break-through of a membrane filter in case of an above average number of large sized particles). The Automatic Particle Counter thus gives more versatile and significant results than a turbidimeter.

PAMAS, located close to Stuttgart in Germany, specializes in liquid particle counters. The company develops, manufactures and distributes Automatic Particle Counters, designed for fluid cleanliness control. The extensive PAMAS product range provides more than 20 different particle counting models for multiple applications.

Besides the most widely used models, which are applied in contamination control of hydraulic fluids, fuel and insulation liquids there are more specialized models for the determination of filter efficiency (beta-ratio analysis) and parts cleaning. Fluid cleanliness control in the pharmaceutical industry and water quality control in water treatment plants are other applications within the extensive uses of Automatic Particle Counters.

One instrument of the PAMAS product range especially designed for water applications is the PAMAS WaterViewer. This unit takes measurements online and is installed as a fixed stationary instrument for water condition monitoring. The system is used for the cleanliness control of potable water, raw water and purified waste water or process water.

For condition monitoring, the PAMAS WaterViewer may be connected to up to 32 measuring points. With the aid of microprocessor controlled valves, it is easy to change between measuring points and bypass connections. The PAMAS WaterViewer may be fitted optionally with an automatic Sensor Flushing Unit, the PAMAS SFU. This attachment will automatically remove mineral deposits (e.g. manganese, calcium, iron oxide, etc.) from the optical cell windows which may otherwise diminish the laser light beam.

The instrument stays in action round the clock without anyone having to take care of it. The instrument configuration can be set up according to the customer’s requirements: Depending on the user-specific application, the PAMAS WaterViewer may be equipped with different particle sensors with different sensor specifications. The sensor PAMAS HCB-LD-25/25 for example, analyses particle sizes between 1 and 200 µm.

The PAMAS WaterViewer has been tried, tested and trusted for many years and considered by many users as an accurate and reliable measuring instrument for water applications. It was screened and chosen by the Dutch KWR Research Institute (former KIWA) in 2005.

Since then, a multitude of existing publications and scientific papers prove that the PAMAS WaterViewer is used for scientific research at many universities in Europe (e.g. at the Technical University Delft in the Netherlands, at the University of Lorraine in France and at the University of Kuopio in Finland).

As an example, the PAMAS WaterViewer helped to identify relevant factors for the ideal construction of water distribution pipeline systems and the most efficient filtration speed required in pool water treatment.

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