How trustworthy is Your Pilot Test?

Improving Water Treatment Pilot Testing

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The Challenge

A pilot test is a critical tool to assess the design of a water treatment system. But how do you assess your pilot test?

The customer had arranged for a pilot trial to determine the feasibility of a proposed wastewater treatment plant. The equipment supplier also carried out the tests and, upon completing them, recommended no further testing before construction. The lack of even any minor concerns on the part of the tester caused the client’s confidence to waver. Making matters worse, the equipment supplier was not very forthcoming regarding process guarantees.

Understanding that a large scale water treatment system must provide trouble-free performance at all times, the customer decided to call in a third-party expert to assess the pilot test results and the recommended technologies. That expert was OrangeBoat.

Steps taken

OrangeBoat reviewed the pilot test protocols, the pilot test results, and the technologies selected for the pilot test.


OrangeBoat identified potentially critical shortcomings in the pilot test resulting from the equipment supplier’s decision to test only those technologies that were within its scope of supply. Further testing was performed under different operating conditions. OrangeBoat also expanded the pilot test to include an additional technology that bore directly on project performance.

Based on OrangeBoat’s findings, the system design was refined to increase its ability to operate at peak performance under a wider variety of conditions.