Portable IR analyzer used by Water Environment Research Foundation in wastewater study

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Source: Spectro Scientific

The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) recently sponsored an extensive study to evaluate the performance of different grease interceptor designs. The InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer, Model HATR-T2, from Wilks Enterprise, was used to measure the concentration levels of fats, oil and grease (FOG) in the wastewater leaving the interceptors. The complete study has just been released by WERF (www.werf.org) in a report titled, “Assessment of Grease Interceptor Performance,” (Ducoste, Keener, Groninger and Holt, 2008)

FOG is the main source of clogged sewer lines that overflow and contribute to the pollution of our waterways. Food service establishments, a major source of FOG, use grease interceptors as their primary means for trapping FOG and preventing it from getting into the sewer system. Prior to this study there was limited scientific data evaluating grease interceptors and claims from manufacturers were unsubstantiated.

As part of the Clean Water Act, it is up to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW’s) to maintain the collection systems and enforce regulations that restrict the amount of FOG that industries discharge. In addition food service establishments, other industries such as metal processors, meat packers, cosmetic manufacturers and industrial laundry establishments also contribute to oil and grease in the waste stream.

Now industries must comply with discharge limits as low as 100 parts per million (ppm) of oil and grease. For POTW’s, an important feature of any FOG program is locating and monitoring industries and food service establishments dumping high levels of FOG into the sewer line. Having an on-site testing system such as the InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer helps detect high discharge levels as they are happening. For industries, it is important to have an on-site test in order to comply with the regulatory limits set by the POTW’s.

The InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer provides an accurate and simple form of on-site analysis that takes less than 10 minutes. Waiting for remote laboratory measurement results can add considerable expense in time and money, including fines, for both industry and POTW’s. The InfraCal TOG/TPH Analyzer can greatly assist regulators and industries in assuring that the grease interceptor or pretreatment systems are operating properly and, most importantly, effluent that is above the FOG regulatory limits can be stopped before it stops the flow of the sewer line.

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