Standard Historical
Active: ASTM D3739-19
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2019
ASTM D3739-06(2010)

Standard Practice for Calculation and Adjustment of the Langelier Saturation Index for Reverse Osmosis (Withdrawn 2019)

Significance and Use

In the design and operation of reverse osmosis installations, it is important to predict the calcium carbonate scaling properties of the concentrate stream. Because of the increase in total dissolved solids in the concentrate stream and the difference in passages for calcium ion, bicarbonate ion, and free CO2, the calcium carbonate scaling properties of the concentrate stream will generally be quite different from those of the feed solution. This practice permits the calculation of the Langelier Saturation Index for the concentrate stream from the feed water analyses and the reverse osmosis operating parameters.

A positive Langelier Saturation Index indicates the tendency to form a calcium carbonate scale, which can be damaging to reverse osmosis performance. This practice gives various procedures for the adjustment of the Langelier saturation index.

The tendency to form CaCo3 scale can be suppressed by the addition of antiscalents or crystal modifiers. Suppliers of antisealents and crystal modifiers can provide information on the scale inhibition peformance of these types of chemical. Their use may be appropriate for reducing scale formation in RO systems. The RO system supplier should be consulted prior to the use of antisealents and crystal modifiers to ensure they will not have a negative impact on the RO system.


1.1 This practice covers the calculation and adjustment of the Langelier saturation index for the concentrate stream of a reverse osmosis device. This index is used to determine the need for calcium carbonate scale control in the operation and design of reverse osmosis installations. This practice is applicable for concentrate streams containing xx 10 to 10 000 mg/L of total dissolved solids. For concentrate containing over 10 000 mg/L see Practice D4582.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D19.08
Pages: 4
DOI: 10.1520/D3739-06R10
ICS Code: 07.030