Saving Money with your Wastestream

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Courtesy of Integrated Engineers Inc.

Many industries aren’t aware that there are simple, cost effective solutions to lower the surcharges they are paying to the Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW’s). When the POTW is treating wastewater from an industrial source, they will charge the industry a surcharge to cover the additional cost of treating the industrial waste. Surcharging industries is a common practice since most industries cannot afford the costs of a full primary and secondary wastewater treatment system.

As an industrial plant manager or managing person responsible for the pretreatment of the industrial wastewater, it is often frustrating trying to find a reliable solution to decrease the costs of the surcharges. Equipment vendors will provide equipment solutions, the chemical companies will provide chemical solutions, and consulting engineers will provide studies and engineering recommendations. The responsibility falls on the industrial plant manager to decipher the information available and select the best treatment solution. When attempting to lower surcharges it is imperative to take an overall view of your pretreatment system. This is the key in lowering surcharges. How is a change in chemistry going to effect your equipment, if you change internal plant processes, are you still using the best chemistry, etc. It is possible to save money in wastewater costs by following a simple procedure in evaluating your entire wastewater process, and then optimizing your existing system, thus lowering your surcharges.

The POTW’s will most often monitor industries for Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and the flow Of the wastestream. The POTW’s then have a specific rate structure which determines the total surcharge billed to the Industry. By lowering any of these constituents, industries can lower their surcharge.

The following step by step process offers a starting point for evaluating and optimizing your entire waste water system and Ultimately lowering your surcharges. It’s important to understand that relatively minor changes in your process can result in Substantial annual savings.

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