Effluent monitoring: necessity, not luxury

12 March 2009

A major overhead for any processing plant is effluent discharge. And, in accordance with the water industry act 1991, any company having significant quantity of trade effluent must obtain consent prior to making a discharge to the public sewer network or to a water course.

With consent granted on the basis of effluent composition and any levels exceeded resulting in major fines in addition to large effluent billing, the need for accurate, effective and traceable measurement has never been so apparent.

Simple sampling
Endress+Hauser’s Liquiport 2000 lightweight portable sampler is suitable for an entry level sampling system. Its medium detection system recognises the difference between filled and empty pump hoist in a bid to ensure accurate dosing volumes are guaranteed. For more complex sampling tasks, the MCERTS approved ASP Station 2000 sampler was designed for precision sampling. If offers automatic sampling initiated on the basis of time, quantity, flow or event.

Continuous monitoring
The CE4 measurement station incorporates an integrated water sampler and is suitable for applications that require continuous monitoring of online parameters. The system consists of four main components: electronics, analysis pipework, water sampler and accessories. Additionally, control and data recording/transmission is possible using dataloggers, RS232/485 interface, modem, PROFIBUS or ATA flash card.

Immediate detection
In addition to achieving representative effluent samples, online analysis enables immediate detection of product loss. Online analysers cover analytical parameters from pH, conductivity and suspended solids through to the sum parameters of BOD, COD and TOC. By activating alarm setpoints, operators can be alerted should any issues arise. This can minimise product loss and avoid heavy effluent costs and possible fines for consent breach.

Complete monitoring and reporting
All measurements can be linked back to a central system, providing complete monitoring and reporting of effluent. The software can be web-enabled for use across a company intranet or the internet. Should monitored parameters exceed consent limits, alarms are immediately triggered, quickly alerting personnel. Necessary steps can be taken to ensure that potentially costly incidents are dealt with as quickly as possible and appropriate action taken.

Software configuration allows effluent costs to be continuously monitored. By importing flow and analysis data into the system along with consent information, trade effluent charges can be defined, recorded and reported. If required, reporting frequency can be set on an hourly basis - showing clearly where issues lie - to enable measures to be put in place to quickly and effectively deal with any problem areas. Daily emails can be sent to appropriate personnel, giving comprehensive information on effluent loading and charges.

In the current climate, reliable effluent monitoring is increasingly important in improving process control and increasing plant efficiency. Hand in hand with this, automatic monitoring and targeting is becoming an increasing area of interest in order to protect the environment and as a cost saving exercise.

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