For civil engineering contractors, one of the problems that can be encountered when undertaking large development projects is the potential pollution of surface waters from run-off containing quantities of suspended solids. When direct discharge to a watercourse is required an Environment Agency Discharge Consent must be gained. The consent usually includes a set limit for the amount of suspended solids allowed in the discharge. Exceeding this limit can result in prosecution. Complying with consent conditions and providing evidence of regular sampling is a task for which the contractor must take responsibility
It is rewarding to know that many leading national and international contractors are paying due heed to their responsibilities and are investing in portable monitoring instrumentation. Partech Instruments has reported considerable interest in its portable instrumentation packages for projects including motorway improvement schemes, major construction sites and water treatment plants. “With this equipment, site engineers can monitor the suspended solids content of surface waters for comparison with baseline conditions and to monitor silt levels in local watercourses,” reports Angus Fosten, Sales and Marketing Director.
At one multi-million pound transport improvement scheme in the south of England, contractors are now using the Partech 740 portable suspended solids meter to monitor the level of suspended solids in surface waters within the construction site. This portable instrument is being operated in addition to the regular taking of samples which are sent for laboratory analysis.
Partech’s portable suspended solids meter consists of the 740 Monitor and the Soli-Tech 10 Sensor and provides quick and accurate readings of suspended solids via an intuitive menu structure. By combining the proven technologies of its 740 Monitor and Soli-Tech 10 Sensor, Partech has created a portable package that can be programmed for up 10 individual sites/applications. Furthermore, the 740 Monitor can be set up for individual operator use and save specific sensor outputs. The Soli-Tech 10 Sensor is constructed to withstand demanding locations, has an operating range of 0 – 20,000mg/l and provides sensitivity readings down to 1mg/l.
Used successfully on many construction sites, operators report that the 740 Monitor benefits from the sales and support package provided by Partech. Support from Partech includes giving personnel a practical on-site demonstration in order to evaluate the potential of the instrument and maintaining lines of communication for additional advice once the equipment is in daily use. This has been seen as being very useful for those who had not previously operated an instrument of this type