A Breakthrough in the Science of Water Treatment

Here’s why our SIBROM system is viewed by many as a ground breaking advancement in the field of potable water treatment:

  • Exceptional water quality that conforms to the most stringent international standards
  • Production of Biologically Stable Water
    • Water contains no energy sources or nutrients to support downstream microbial growth
  • Production of noncorrosive inorganically stable water
  • DOC removal below detection limits
  • Removal of reduced dissolved gases
  • Fail-safe electronic control systems
  • Favorable economics – low operating and capital costs
    • Lower chemical costs
      • Lower Cl dosages
      • Far less antiscalent required
    • Reduced Backwashing
      • 95% reduction in water used
    • Reduced reservoir cleaning
    • Extended membrane life
      • Reduced membrane replacement
      • Eliminates cleaning costs
    • Reduced labour costs
      • Backwashing
      • Minimal operator interventions
      • Continuous process
      • Remote monitoring and intervention control systems

Invented in 2002 by Dr. Hans Peterson there are now 15 full scale SIBROM water treatment plants operating in First Nation communities in Canada; with operating capacities ranging from 2L/sec (31.7gal/min) to 30L/sec (475.51gal/min).

By combining the power of biological filtration with tight RO membrane filtration, SIBROM water treatment plants consistently produce biologically stable drinking water at purity levels that are second to none.



Three Core Treatment Phases in a SIBROM System:

Phase 1: Biological Filtration

Here indigenous micro-organisms are employed in large numbers to purify water through natural metabolic processes. Conditions conducive to the health and growth of specific bacterial populations are maintained within a series of bio-filters.  This is accomplished by providing the ideal media for the biofilm forming bacteria to colonize; and by precisely controlling key parameters necessary to optimize their health and metabolic processes.

Amazingly, the natural biological purification activity achieved within the SIBROM bio-filters occurs at a rate 10,000 times greater than it does in nature.

Bio-media resembles coffee grounds Bacteria culture on Media

  Expanded Clay Media                   Bacteria Culture on Media

Technically speaking, to be biologically removed from the raw water in a SIBROM system, contaminants must be either nutrients or energy sources for the bacteria employed.  Some contaminants are consumed, some remain within the biomass i.e.Fe2+,NH4+ , others are transformed into compounds ideally suited to removal by the RO membranes i.e., Mn2+ to Mn3+  ,As3+ to As5+ .

Phase 2: Reverse Osmosis Membrane Filtration

Next, the biologically pretreated water is pumped through a series of tight, spiral wound, reverse osmosis membranes for further filtration.  Using Yellow Quill as an example, contaminants removed by the SIBROM bio-filtration verses the RO filtration processes are set out in the following table. The result is highly purified, biologically stable water ready for the final phase –  Remineralization.

SIBROM Comparative Contaminant Removal


Phase 3: Re-mineralization to Optimize pH of Treated Water

RO treatment yields water with a <pH 6, which is corrosive to pipes in the distribution system.  The problem is corrosion in these pipes can leach out copper and lead, which is bad if you drink it.  Re-adjustment of the pH to levels >pH7 is accomplished by treating the water in a proprietary SIBROM mineral contactor employing calcium & magnesium carbonate salts.

The end result is non-corrosive, biologically stable, highly purified water that conforms the highest water quality standards.

The main advantage that sets SIBROM technology apart from conventional approaches to water treatment is the production of biological stable drinking water.  This is important because biologically stable water contains no energy sources or nutrients to support downstream microbial growth.  As such fouling of the RO membranes, reservoirs and distribution pipes is prevented.

Another key advantage is that Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) is totally removed from the treated water by the SIBROM process. The absence of DOC greatly improves the effectiveness of the chlorination process.  Typically chlorine usage is reduced by up to 90% in water treatment plants that have converted to the SIBROM process.

SIBROM Presentation

James Smith Cree Nation Article