Energy Savings through Wastewater Analysis and Treatment Part 1

Part 1 of 2: Process Control

Speeding up the natural process of oxidation and bacterial digestion that breaks down waste into basic non-hazardous material and separating solids from water takes energy. With energy costs rising over the last few years to an all time high, wastewater treatment operators face mounting pressure to further reduce costs. Adding to this, headcount reduction for cost savings makes it more challenging to optimize plant conditions and meet regulatory limits. The answer to meeting the needs of staffing, energy and regulatory challenges, for wastewater facilities frequently involves on-line water analysis and control.

Industrial Wastewater Plant Influent

The wastewater treatment plant receives industrial wastewater as outfall from various processes, which may include:

  • Process effluent
  • Boiler blowdown
  • Cooling water blowdown
  • Rinsing
  • Storm water runoff

These sources create a plant load calculated as:

Flow (MGD) x Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) in parts per million x 8.34 = Load

A sudden discharge of high load could potentially upset a wastewater treatment plant’s operations. On-line monitors can indicate how much load and what type of upset is occurring. If equalization basins are not large enough to dilute this load, control systems can be connected to divert this waste stream to a holding tank or lagoon. Key on-line instrumentation that may be beneficial for monitoring influent includes: