Refurbished RO Saves Time and Money

Refurbished Ge Titan Ro

A nuclear fuel production plant buys two additional refurbished reverse osmosis (RO) systems to complement the system purchased in 2018. Points to lower cost and rapid availability along with the success of the initial system as primary decision factors.

Refurbished RO Project History

In 2018, WaterSurplus supplied a nuclear fuel production plant in North America with a 450 gallon per minute (GPM) used RO system and 108 surplus eight-inch membrane elements. Read more about that original project here.

Three years later as a plant expansion was being developed, the customer returned to WaterSurplus for an additional 500 GPM of permeate flow capacity. Our engineering and fabrication teams completed a custom refurbishment of two 260 GPM GE Titan-72 Reverse Osmosis systems to meet the customer’s demand for treated water. (Learn more about our Fabrication Division in this post.)

Refurbished RO Project Challenges

  • The nuclear fuel production plant was experiencing significant membrane fouling due to its hard-to-treat feed water source.
  • The plant needed to double RO capacity in order to meet the needs of the planned expansion.
  • The cost of downtime both during the original project and while racing to complete the expansion was significant.


WaterSurplus was able to custom refurbish and deliver two RO systems that were already in stock within 4-5 weeks compared with the typical new RO lead time of 12-16 weeks. This Availability Advantage translated to substantial savings for the facility. Additionally, the cost of the customized surplus RO system was 35% less than that of a comparable new one.

This application generated additional savings for the company with the use of 144 surplus membrane elements, effectively reducing membrane cost by more than 60% without a significant loss in lifespan for each element. Once again, the WaterSurplus Availability Advantage provided substantial savings, since the surplus membranes shipped immediately from stock versus the typical 6-7 week lead time for new RO membrane elements. 

Additional Savings

Cost of 144 new reverse osmosis membrane elements: $72,000

Cost of 144 cleaned surplus reverse osmosis membrane elements: $26,640

Savings from using surplus membranes: $45,360

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