Black Box, Standalone Reverse Osmosis System - Avista™
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Avista | Black Box

Membrane Monitoring Device

The Avista Black Box is a proprietary, stand-alone monitoring device that replicates membrane performance without interrupting the reverse osmosis (RO) system operation.

The Avista Black Box simulates spiral wound membrane performance for pilot or full-scale systems and eliminates the need to sacrifice full-sized elements for autopsy. The Black Box is self-contained and designed to be maintenance free. The inlet is connected to a sample port on the membrane system at the location where membrane performance will be monitored. The concentrate and permeate lines are connected to the system drain.

  • Developed for system troubleshooting and optimization.
  • Autopsy results derived from the Avista Black Box mirror those obtained from a full-sized element.

Connects to Various Locations

The Avista Black Box can be installed in minutes, and additional units can be added to achieve multiple goals simultaneously.


  • Analyze the potential for colloid, oraganic and biological fouling
  •  Determine the effects of oxidizers on lead membranes


  • Identify potential scale formers
  • Evaluate potential scale formers
  • Test and optimize recovery rates


  • Detect problems that are difficult to identify in the feed or concentrate
  •  Find a unique inter-stage foulant deposit
  • Confirm pre-treatment is working properly

Avista Black Box:  Unique Advantages

  • Saves a membrane: Eliminate the need to sacrifice full-sized elements for analysis
  • Pilot testing: Ideal for pilot testing and full-scale system evaluation
  • Autopsy results: The Black Box foulant analysis results mirror those obtained from a full-sized element
  • Easy to install: The Avista Black Box can be installed in minutes, and additional units can be added to achieve multiple goals simultaneously.


Black Box Case Study


An industrial membrane system, running 24/7, experienced unexplained membrane fouling. The fouling had led to a decrease in system performance and an increase in downtime for membrane cleaning.

  • Cleanings occurred every 30 days, with marginal results.
  • An Avista Black Box monitoring device was installed at the first stage of the system to model foulant deposition.
  • The Black Box was removed after a flux decline of 8%.


While the system continued to run an autopsy was performed on the Black Box. The autopsy results identified colloidal fouling and the presence of organics on the membrane surface.

  • Through the autopsy, it was discovered that a multimedia fi lter at the pretreatment stage wasn’t operating properly.
  • A cleaning study was conducted on the Black Box membrane to identify cleaning chemicals capable of restoring proper membrane flow and pressure.
  • Once the multimedia was repaired and the membranes were properly cleaned, the system was put back on-line.
  • The customer now reports better permeate water quality and a higher production of water.
  • The operating pressures have been reduced and the system is now cleaned every 6 months, and proper performance levels are restored after each cleaning.


standalone reverse osmosis system
Avista Black Box
Case Study