Industry has had to respond to the requirements of progressive UK environmental legislation such as the Urban Waste Water Directive, IPC, IPPC and now the EPR (Environmental Permitting Regulations). As successive legislation becomes more stringent, discharge consents have been progressively tightened, and the need for self-regulation has become more important. As a consequence, on-line instrumentation has been installed throughout waste-water industry to continuously provide trade discharge monitoring and perform continuous water analysis for key consent parameters.
Waste-water generated from industrial processes often needs to be monitored to ensure compliance to a number of imposed consents which may include flow, pH, suspended solids, ammonia, COD and BOD. The degree of monitoring and the required parameters are often determined by the type of industry and the amount of contamination or waste product present. Progressively industry is looking to minimise their waste and reduce their effluent costs by treating prior to trade discharge. Water quality parameters such as pH, suspended solids, ammonia and Total Organic Carbon are often used to manage effluent quality and upstream processes.
Total organic carbon measurement
The integration of continuous monitoring enables proactive management of trade discharge to reduce operational costs. The Protoc TOC analyser continuously reports the Total Organic Carbon concentration of the trade discharge which provides in real time, a good indication of the Chemical Oxygen Demand which is a key water quality parameter.
Final effluent monitoring
Many industrial sites are now treating their waste to reduce their effluent costs. Industrial operations may then apply to discharge to a local water course. Final effluent monitoring typically comprises ammonia and suspended solids (turbidity) although other water analysis such as BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) may also be performed on discrete samples. The measurement of Total Organic Carbon may be used to provide a real time indication of BOD.
Ammonia is a critical water quality parameter since it is toxic to aquatic life and also indicates the extent of treatment. Rising ammonia concentrations indicates inefficient nitrification possibly due to poor aeration, insufficient liquor concentrations, nitrification inhibition due to toxicity, temperature or excessive hydraulic load. Continuous measurement data is therefore crucially important to confirm the treatment facility is operating efficiently. The Protoc TOC may also be used to infer the BOD of the sample and more recently, phosphate consents have also been imposed resulting in additional treatment and process control requirements.