Frequently Asked Questions


How long does the metals removal media last?

The duration of treatment and operational lifetime depend upon several factors such as:

  • unit size

  • cumulative flow volume

  • concentration of pollutants of concern

  • absorption efficiency of the unit within a specific treatment system

  • desired removal efficiency

  • consistency of slurry

  • average size of suspended particles

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Can you give an example of how long it lasts?

One cubic foot of Type M sponge product can hold about 190 grams of lead at saturation. If the water to be treated contains 1 ppm of lead, the unit is achieving 100% lead removal and not absorbing anything else, one cubic foot of sponge can treat 50,000 or more gallons of water. At an average flow rate of 1000 gal/week, one cubic foot will last almost a year.

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How do I dispose of the spent media?

MetalZorb can easily be disposed of as solid waste. It’s non-toxic, bio-degradable, and non-hazardous prior to use, and does not contain materials that require special handling or pose any threat to human health or the environment. After the sponge has absorbed metal ions, metal is bound to the sponge and will not be released without special chemical treatment. The metals are now in a solid waste form.

  • CleanWay recommends that used sponge be disposed of at an approved solid waste disposal facility. Disposal regulations vary by state and by facility. Consult your local waste disposal authority for details.

  • Saturated sponge may be disposed of by compaction. If the sponge has been exposed to potentially toxic metals (mercury or lead), analysis may be needed.

  • Used sponge can be blended into feed stock at a plywood factory.

  • While certain metals (i.e., copper) will alter the color of the sponge, others will not present a visual indicator of media saturation. Periodic analysis of effluent will be required to determine when sponge should be replaced.

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What's the difference between MetalZorb and FORAGER® Sponge?

MetalZorb is available exclusively from CleanWay® Environmental Partners through a license agreement and was originally developed under the name FORAGER® Sponge. The remediation of ground water using FORAGER Sponge is described in EPA Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation Report EPA/540/R-94/522.

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Can MetalZorb handle both high flow and low flow applications?

MetalZorb sponge provides the ideal technology for reducing and absorbing heavy metals and metallic ions from both high and low flow applications, including industrial effluents, landfill leachates, stormwater runoff, and any type of non-point source pollution where unattended gravity flow occurs.

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For in situ applications, can you swap out the spent sponge product?

Effective ground water remediation can be achieved by vertically positioning fishnet bags filled with MetalZorb at the gate of a barrier wall funnel system. Units filled with sponge product can be periodically retrieved and replaced with fresh sponge to ensure continuous effective metals removal.

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How does it work?

MetalZorb is a highly effective sponge product that consists of a multitude of highly absorbent half inch cubes, combined together in various configurations to address metals removal at any site. The sponge pores are self-filtering to prevent total occlusion of the active polymer component.

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Why do you call MetalZorb “The Gold Standard in Metals Removal”?

This patented sponge product provides the ideal technology for reducing and absorbing heavy metals and metallic ions from both high and low flow applications. Applications for this product are expansive – and include industrial effluents, landfill leachates, stormwater runoff, and any type of non-point source pollution where unattended gravity flow occurs.

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Can you use MetalZorb sponge product in remote applications?

This sponge product works well when installed in remote or unattended locations for effective absorption that can be monitored effectively by radio-transmitting sensors.

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What metals does MetalZorb sponge product absorb?

This highly effective sponge product targets heavy metals such as zinc, copper, lead, and other heavy metals commonly found in stormwater and industrial process water discharge. MetalZorb features high ion absorption capabilities and quick, aggressive kinetics to capture dissolved metals which are then held in the media so they won’t leach out.

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How do I know which MetalZorb media blend to choose?

We work with you to determine the right media blend for each installation, to ensure that the solution addresses your site-specific water quality requirements.

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Will this product work in my existing filter vault system?

This sponge product can be used in existing filter vaults, catch basins – and even downspout filtration units by simply replacing the filtration system’s current media.

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What are the general chemical properties of MetalZorb?

MetalZorb is a specially treated sponge product designed specifically for the removal of heavy metal contaminants. To learn about the general chemical properties and technical applications, refer to the MetalRemoval-Properties information.

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In what order does MetalZorb absorb various metallic ions?

The order of affinity of the polymer for metals is influenced by solution parameters such as pH, temperature, and total ionic content. The affinity sequence for several representative ions is generally expected as noted in the Metals Removal Order of Affinity.

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Do you have a capacity calculator to help understand its use in my application?

The MetalZorb Treated Sponge Product Capacity Calculator provides the equation for calculating the sponge capacity.

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Are there disposal considerations?

MetalZorb is non-toxic, bio-degradable, and non-hazardous prior to use, and does not contain materials that require special handling or pose any threat to human health or the environment. After the sponge has absorbed metal ions, metal is bound to the sponge and will not be released without special chemical treatment. The metals are now in a solid waste form.

  • CleanWay recommends that used sponge be disposed of at an approved solid waste disposal facility. Disposal regulations vary by state and by facility. Consult your local waste disposal authority for details.

  • Saturated sponge may be disposed of by compaction. If the sponge has been exposed to potentially toxic metals (mercury or lead), analysis may be needed.

  • Used sponge can be blended into feed stock at plywood factory.

  • While certain metals (i.e. copper) will alter the color of the sponge, others will not present a visual indicator of media saturation. Periodic analysis of effluent will be required to determine when sponge should be replaced.

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