SCIENCE, RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY
ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER SEPTEMBER 2020 | 29
upsets in the biological treatment and ultimately save time
and costs associated with poor microbiological health.
In addition to the F:M ratio, TOC analysis has been a useful
tool to optimize nutrient balancing for wastewater biologi-cal
treatment. Many plants require that the carbon levels in
wastewater remain in an appropriate balance with nutrients,
typically nitrogen and phosphorus. A major U.S. beverage
plant decided to upgrade its conventional biological treat-ment
system to a higher flow membrane bioreactor (MBR)
system. While this helped the plant reduce its footprint and
improved the degree of organics removal from the wastewa-ter,
the high flowrates of the new MBR system along with
variations in the sugar loading of the plant discharge meant
that the oxygen demand test was too slow to ensure proper
nutrient balancing to the biological treatment. The plant
required a carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus (C:N:P) nutrient
ratio of 100:5:1, and adding TOC analysis allowed the plant
to track changing organics levels in the wastewater and make
rapid process adjustments. Plant operators were able to
determine levels of carbon and adjust the amount of nitrogen
added to the wastewater to maintain the optimum nutrient
balancing. The new process resulted in consistent organics
removal, greatly reduced process upsets, and saved the plant
hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Using TOC analysis to directly monitor carbon levels can be a
powerful tool for wastewater treatment plants trying to opti-mize
a biological treatment process. Unlike traditional oxygen
demand tests, TOC analysis provides accurate data in minutes,
enabling operators to make rapid process control decisions.
Plants using TOC data to maintain an effective F:M ratio or
C:N:P nutrient balancing can ensure the optimization of the
biological treatment process. Maintaining the health of bioreac-tors
with TOC analysis helps plants minimize process upsets,
effectively remove contamination, and ultimately produce a
clean final discharge that meets regulatory requirements.
Adit Jatkar is a Global Product Application Special-ist
at Suez Water Technology Solutions Analytical
Instruments. He has a bachelor’s degree in Chem-istry
from Purdue University and experience in the
water treatment and petroleum industries, as well
as a background in analytical instrumentation and process chemis-try.
Contact him at 303.514.5520 or Adit.Jatkar@Suez.Com.