Know Your Impact – Wastewater and the Environment

With World Water Day being this week, we thought it would be a good time to share our article “Know Your Impact”. This article raises awareness to the impact of industrial wastewater on our environment and how we can lessen that impact by reducing our energy and water waste.

We are all thankful for the little things that make our lives easier and more efficient, like ready-to-eat meals when we don’t want to cook, or clean sheets when crawling into a hotel bed after a 12-hour flight. The industries that provide these wonderful, yet sometimes taken for granted luxuries, are Food Processing and Commercial Laundries. While these industries make our lives easier, they also produce a significant amount of wastewater. This wastewater is monitored by Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) and if the POTW doesn’t like what you’re putting back into the environment, there can be surcharges, fines and even shutdowns.

The food and laundry industries have processes that generate high-strength wastewater. Since POTW’s are usually designed to treat domestic sewage and not industrial wastewater, the concentrations of chemicals and contaminants in the industrial wastewater can affect the ability of the treatment plants to effectively treat all the wastewater coming to them.

When evaluating your plant’s discharge of industrial wastewater, keep in mind that guidelines vary across municipalities. Some permits have established guidelines and others are provisional, or temporary, and use an analysis of a period of time to establish guidelines or they may have high limits on surcharges, while many have no limits. In short, knowing and understanding your industrial wastewater discharge permits is important to the sustainability of your business.

Now that you know your guidelines, let’s work further on your plant’s sustainability. Industrial wastewater treatment covers the methods used to treat wastewater that is produced as a by-product of industrial or commercial activities. After treatment, the treated wastewater, or effluent, may be reused or released to a sanitary sewer or POTW. The mass flow, temperature, and strength (concentration) of industrial wastewater streams directly impact the ability of the POTW to process and achieve final disposition to surface water or reuse streams.

Concentrated constituents that are typically monitored closely due to their impact are; Dissolved Oxygen and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), pH, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), conductivity, alkalinity, and fecal coliform. BOD and Suspended Solids are typical constituents monitored by the POTW and are used as a basis to establish surcharges. Other constituents like heavy metals and Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG’s) are often not acceptable and can result in fines or shutdowns.

A thorough analysis of the individual wastewater of a plant’s operation will ensure that the right system is designed and that it will be effective in removing the “waste” from your wastewater. There are several system designs for treating wastewater, each with key benefits dependent on the type of wastewater that needs to be treated. Kemco has over 30 years in wastewater treatment and reuse experience, with systems such as the DAF, RO, CMF and the state-of-the-art CMF-RO combination, we will ensure that you get the best system to treat your wastewater efficiently and safely for reuse in your plant and for sewer into the environment.

Wastewater Treatment Plant – Clearwater, FL

We Can Decrease Your Impact

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