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Technical Focus: Turbidity as Control for Trickle Filters

Posted by Angus Fosten on December 22, 2014
TurbiTechw² LR

Turbidity is an often overlooked control measurement in terms of trickle filter processes, with plants using archaic, inflexible and unresponsive methods in an attempt to garner maximum productivity.

Here are four reasons as to why you should apply turbidity, a flexible and readily accessible parameter, as a control for trickle filter processes; benefiting plant efficiency and ultimately saving money.

Spring shedding

BO5 readings are the current go-to measurement in instances of spring shedding (when biomass sloughs from trickle filter beds before becoming secondary sludge), and can prove a very timely process.

Turbidity is an immediate indicator of instances such as biofilm removing from filter beds, and therefore ensures appropriate action can be taken in real time.

Relevant recirculation ratios

In terms of control regarding recirculation ratios, many plants used fixed values as determined by the typical consistency of incoming liquor.

Turbidity values allow for much more autonomy and increased flexibility when taking into account unforeseen load or composition occurrences, whereas beforehand filters may have become overloaded and ineffective.

Slow motion

If using fixed ratios to determine recirculation, it’s important not to forget that readings can fluctuate to both ends of the register.

Recirculation ratios can be slowed down if turbidity readings measure below certain parameters; saving energy, money and wear and tear on equipment.

Filter bed and plant efficiency

The biological nature of trickle filter beds means that seasonal temperature changes have an immediate effect on efficiency and also require differing rates of recycling throughout the calendar year.

Using ambient temperatures as a control parameter is out of the question (due to its unreliable thermal characteristics), thus making outlet turbidity a worthwhile alternate measurement. A non-compliance with seasonal temperatures acts as both an arbiter for trickle filter and overall process efficiency.

To discuss investing in turbidity measurement as a control for trickle filters (such as inclusion of our TurbiTechw² LR Turbidity Sensor), our technical experts are available via email, telephone or through arranging a site survey.

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