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Technical Focus: Turbidity as Control for Tertiary Treatment

Posted by Angus Fosten on December 5, 2014

As we hope our previous blog has made you aware, turbidity is a value too often overlooked as an inconvenience within the wastewater industry.

Not only an asset in primary settlement situations, turbidity is an extremely effective and accessible control for tertiary treatment; especially to determine when such procedures are unnecessarily costing the wastewater industry time, money and manpower that could be utilised elsewhere.

Through the use of technology such as the Partech TurbiTechw² LS Suspended Solids and Turbidity Sensor, these parameters can be analysed to judge when tertiary treatment is actually necessary.

If unmanned sites have a decision protocol based entirely on incoming flow – usually with at least one tertiary treatment unit in constant operation – then efficiency is an issue when variable flow rates are concerned, not to mention the drain on resources due to tertiary units in a permanent state of activation.

In cases of increased flow and unaffected load, secondary filtration effluent may well be up to discharge standards in terms of nutrient contamination and BOD, therefore avoiding the need for tertiary treatment altogether.

Initiating tertiary processes only when absolutely necessary through using turbidity measurements in this way not only benefits plants through reduced energy usage, but also in terms of maintenance costs and equipment wear and tear.

The technology used in turbidity sensors are extremely well adapted to turbid conditions, with modern light sources, self cleaning sensors and infrared componentry extremely useful in basic control scenarios or specific treatment environments. An instance being in pre-UV treatment, where turbidity can be an arbiter of procedure intensity.

We’re eager to learn of your experiences with turbidity; so whether it be using it as a control parameter or otherwise, tell your story by leaving a comment below or getting in touch with our team.

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