An assessment of sampling locations for three industrial wastewater effluent piping systems is presented. The assessments provided demonstrate that by installing sampling ports at the appropriate location along an effluent stream’s piping system, truly representative samples can be collected. These real and accurate results scientifically prove that a specific industrial wastewater discharge does not contain mercury levels that will trigger regulatory enforcement action.
Environmental regulatory agencies are trying to get a handle on mercury compounds found in industrial wastewater discharges, and they are looking to these industries to identify which of their waste streams discharge organic and/or inorganic mercury. In 1988, the Federal government introduced a ban on ocean dumping. This ban includes any bio-solids that were generated by publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). All POTWs currently are required to
find alternative disposal methods for the bio-solids. The disposal method used by these industries is dependent on a large number of pollutant concentrations, including mercury.
The allowable limits for mercury, and other pollutants, are regulated by Chapter 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 503 (40 CFR 503). Mercury discharge concentrations are strictly monitored and reuse or disposal of bio-solids may not be acceptable at certain concentration levels. So the question falls to industries, is there mercury in your industrial wastewater discharge? Industries discharging wastewater with mercury levels above the regulatory action limit are mandated by the regulations to react and bring wastewater discharge mercury below the acceptable regulatory limit.