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The ultrafiltration process takes place inside a big rectangular tank called the "ultrafiltration cell". (It is officially referred to as the CMF-S Cell, which translates as the Continuous Microfiltration Submerged Cell.)

You can look down into the top of the ultrafiltration cell from the viewing window and can see the rack which holds the cartridges filled with membrane fibres.

Looking down into the ultrafiltration cell

The cartridges are connected to the rack in groups of four in a clover formation. Each cartridge contains thousands of hollow membrane fibres that look like spaghetti. The surface area of the membranes in each cartridge is about 31 square metres. A vacuum is applied to the top of the cartridges, sucking raw water onto the outside of the membrane fibres. The membrane fibres have tiny 0.04 micron

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holes that let water molecules pass through. Anything larger than 0.04 microns such as dirt and bacteria get left on the outside of the membrane fibres. 0.04 microns is about 1/2000 of a human hair.

Cross-section through a single ultrafiltration fibre

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