In water testing, readings that we believe to be reliable indicators are not always what they seem. Water that exhibits certain chemical or electrical characteristics at laboratory temperatures can provide entirely different readings in the field. Here is a quick review of what to look for in common water tests and why to consider automatic temperature compensation in the instruments used to collect them.
Leaking or overfilled tanks can cause environmental problems, contaminate drinking water, and cost a company millions of dollars. Proper instrumentation, monitoring and control can prevent these problems. By Bill Sholette, Level Products Business Manager, and Ricardo Chavez, Solutions Business Manager, Endress+Hauser
A steam generating plant requires very clean water and carefully controlled chemistry for proper operation of a boiler that runs at high temperatures and pressures.
Everyone wants pathogen-free drinking water, and adding chlorine is a great way to get it. Unfortunately, the dirtier a water treatment plant (WTP)’s raw water inflow — in terms of natural organic matter (NOM) or microbial organisms — the more disinfection byproducts (DBPs) the chlorination process will generate in the form of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). Those DBPs increase the risk of non-compliance with the U.S. EPA’s Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rules. Choosing the right instrumentation to measure NOM through spectral absorption coefficients (SACs) can have a big impact on treatment strategies — in terms of both costs and compliance performance.
Corrosion control has always been a priority for distributing safe drinking water throughout the world’s networks of pipeline. This has become all the more critical following the outrageous lead poisoning revelations in Flint, MI — an incident caused directly by corrosion of the city’s lead-based infrastructure.
Turbidity measurement is both a nebulous, oft-misunderstood concept and the master link in a chain of events affecting U.S. EPA drinking water compliance. It can influence, or be influenced by, almost every other link in a water treatment process. Here is a quick overview of turbidity’s relationship to drinking water compliance standards and some tips for keeping a water treatment process in balance.
In 2010, Shelby County Water Services (SCWS) was planning for the future. With new regulations on the horizon, SCWS determined that the Talladega/Shelby water treatment plant in Shelby County, AL, needed more effective removal of disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Specifically, the treatment plant needed help complying with the U.S. EPA’s new Stage 2 Disinfection Byproduct Rule (DBPR).
For decades, a Winnipeg utility used a multiple point-chlorination process to treat raw water drawn from remote Shoal Lake. Concerns eventually arose about the potential presence of chlorine-resistant pathogens–Crytosporidium and Giardia–and residual disinfection byproducts, which coincided with encroaching development near the lake. The Clari-DAF system was selected and now removes 70 percent of the organics at the Winnipeg plant, which also improves filtration and extends the intervals between filter backwashes.
With the ongoing concern about water quality in Alaska, Philip Downing, the Remote Maintenance Worker for South East Alaska Regional Health Consortium, offered a new approach to a plant’s ability to continuously monitor and adjust treatment processes in response to changes in raw water quality.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which provides for the enhancement of the safety of public drinking water supplies through the establishment and enforcement of nationwide drinking water regulations. Congress gave the primary responsibility for establishing regulations to the U. S. EPA. Until 1990, the EPA administered a certification process for chemicals, including phosphates, to be used for potable water treatment. By Randy C. Turner, Technical Director, Swan Analytical USA
When selecting a new analyzer for your plant, there are many different features to consider. One of those is the choice of how the instrument will be calibrated, namely between an inexpensive manual calibration and a more complex automatic calibration method. (To be clear, we will define automatic calibration as a feature that involves no operator intervention at the instrument.) Factors that influence this choice are financial, process, staff levels, and personal preference. Let’s explore each of those.
Control of dissolved organics has been one of the highest priority concerns for most water treatment plants for over 20 years. Organics monitoring is an even more critical issue today in the face of more stringent regulations and concerns around trace organics, emerging contaminants, and even counter-terrorism or water security. Despite the critical need, many plants still rely primarily on turbidity for monitoring and process control.
SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions designs and manufactures Sievers Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzers that enable near real-time reporting of organic carbon levels for treatment optimization, quality control & regulatory compliance. TOC has a wide range of applicability at a drinking water plant, and therefore any drinking water utility — large or small — can measure TOC in their laboratory or online in their treatment process.
As the world’s population continues to increase at a fast pace, more food and water will be needed to sustain humanity. In the past 50 years, we have tripled our need for water and food, and there are no signs of this trend slowing down. As a result of these conditions, smart, innovative agricultural practices are needed now more than ever. Technology can, and already does, aid agriculture in innumerable ways. One prominent part of agriculture that can use technological innovation to increase efficiency and effectiveness is irrigation.
Water in petrochemical feedstocks can cause problems for processors. Freezing of pipe lines and valves and poisoning of expensive catalysts are just a few examples.
The analysis of water for volatile organic compounds is important due to their toxicity. The current methods for this determination lack of sensitivity, selectivity or capability for automation. This paper presents the new ISO 17943 Standard using Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) and GC/MS. The sample preparation by SPME enables limits of detection and easy automation of the whole method. GC/MS provides the required sensitivity and selectivity. This ISO Standard was validated by an interlaboratory trial, which results confirm the outstanding performance for this method.
In this paper the importance of reagent water quality for toxic element environmental analyses is discussed, and the suitability of fresh ultrapure water produced using MilliporeSigma water purification systems for ICP-OES and ICP-MS trace element analyses in environmental laboratories is demonstrated.
One of the most common processes in wastewater treatment is the activated sludge method, which biologically treats the wastewater through the use of large aeration basins. This process requires the pumping of compressed air into the aeration basins where a diffuser system ensures the air is distributed evenly for optimum treatment. The energy needed to provide compressed air is a significant cost in the operation of a wastewater treatment plant.
The water municipality at a mid-size city in the Western region of the U.S. serving a population of about 180,000 people needed to address a chlorine disinfection system problem at one of its water treatment plants.
Facility administrators will find the advanced ST100 Series Thermal Mass Air/Gas Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) helps them improve the accuracy of specialty gas point of use and sub-metering operations to achieve accurate billing in their labs for better cost tracking and control.
The task of managing the quantity and quality of potable water is unimaginable without online instrumentation to help water utilities to measure, treat and deliver drinking water to consumers. ABB’s Aztec 600 colorimetric and ion-selective electrode (ISE) analyzers have been designed to measure the key parameters that affect water quality – aluminium, iron, manganese, phosphate, color, ammonia and fluoride.
Digital devices provide two-way communication, so they can be programmed from the control room. However, the bigger benefit is that they can be part of a system offering assured interoperability to provide a seamless flow of information. This type of integration between key components of the water treatment and distribution process improves decision-making and overall equipment optimization.
When water and wastewater plant operators can’t get accurate flow measurements or analytical readings — or lack confidence in their instruments’ readings — it creates challenges with the process. When substandard water goes to homes and causes a boil order, or discharge pollutes a lake or reservoir, the resulting bad press, fines, and potential lawsuits erode public confidence. Avoiding these kinds of problems is rooted in good preventive maintenance habits.
Water and wastewater utility operators work diligently to operate within strict guidelines, ensuring their facilities are producing the best drinking water and highest quality effluent possible. Despite all their efforts, however, it can be easy to fall outside of regulatory compliance without even being aware. The key to avoiding problems like these is to understand how silent noncompliance can happen and knowing when to raise a red flag.
Water scarcity. Aging infrastructure. Uncertainty due to climate change. Experts from across the water sector agree that water challenges are intensifying, and that action and public awareness is a necessity. Now we have the need — and the opportunity — for those same voices to raise the volume on one of the most powerful ways to address increasing water threats: digital innovation.
Proficiency Testing (PT) is the name used by the International Standards Organization for a procedure also known as “inter-laboratory study” or “external quality assessment” or “ring test”. Proficiency testing, in simple terms, comprises a sample sent to a group of laboratories for measurement. The labs know what might be in the sample, but they don’t know exactly what is there or the concentration. Their results are compared with the known or true value and the lab is assigned a “Z” score to show how closely their result came to the target.