How to Determine the Real Cost of an Ultra-filtration System

Ultrafiltration systems can cost between $100,000 for small gallon per minute (GPM) water flow demands, on up to over $20 million for a high flow demand typical in a municipal water system that provides drinking water.

Figuring the cost of an ultrafiltration system your particular business needs is more manageable when you understand all the components that make up that cost and the benefits of having a quality water filtration system.

This article will explain what an ultrafiltration system is, why you need one, and how you can estimate installation costs for your business.

What is an Ultra-Filtration System

An ultrafiltration system, or a microfiltration system, uses a series of membranes and components to eliminate contaminants.

As liquids filter through these membranes, separation of fine particulates occurs. Water and low molecular weight solutions pass through the membranes to purify and concentrate the resulting liquid.

Industries That Employ Ultra-Filtration Systems

Food and beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical, medical, and wastewater treatment facilities depend on ultra-filtration systems to either recycle flow or clean flow input for safe use.

Cost Factors

The basis for the cost of an ultrafiltration system starts with three factors:

  • Water characteristics
  • Industry standards
  • Flow rate demand

Water characteristics

The initial water quality at a location will determine overall cost. Well or surface water, as well as organic particulates found, will determine the number of membranes you need to attain acceptable water standards. The more complicated the filtration system, the higher the cost.

Industry standards

Medical, industrial, and power applications require stainless steel piping for ultra-filtration systems. Stainless steel adds substantially to the cost of a system, as opposed to municipal applications where it can utilize low-cost PVC piping.

Flow rates

Flow rate demands are another cost factor in an ultrafiltration system. A typical membrane system has continuous flow reaching gallons-per-day criteria a business needs to operate.

A small food business may need 100 thousand gallons per day, whereas a wastewater treatment facility needs millions.

After installation of initial system components, flow rate demands will affect cost. If a business needs a 20 percent increase in flow rate, it can expect to add 20 percent to the cost of the system due to the additional membranes it needs to handle that flow.

Additional cost factors

Expect overall cost to increase or decrease depending on these additional factors:

  • Operating costs
  • Prepackaged modular system vs On-site custom build
  • Shipping costs
  • Applicable state taxes
  • Space requirements
  • Regulation fees
  • System engineering and design
  • Automated vs Operator System

How to Locate an Ultra-filtration Company

If you need to install an ultrafiltration system or upgrade your existing equipment the best action is to contact a company that specializes in ultrafiltration equipment and design who can itemize cost for your business needs.

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