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Top tips for wastewater treatment

18 October 2021

Dave Walker offers some best-practice advice on wastewater treatment. 

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Having worked with a wide variety of food processing and manufacturing companies over the last three decades, it’s safe to say there’s not much I’ve not seen when comes to wastewater treatment! 

The process and manufacture of food and drink is a multi-million pound industry. It is also a highly competitive sector where every second and every penny count. It is vital that an operation is able to function effectively and efficiently 24-hours a day, 365-days a year. As such, ensuring best-practice right across the board is key. However,  any businesses remain in the dark about their wastewater treatment until it is too late. It’s either ignored until something goes wrong i.e. the agreed consent licence is breached, or there is a problem with a specific production line or process. 

As such, I have put together my top tips for implementing and achieving best practice for wastewater treatment, irrespective of what is processed or manufactured.

• Knowledge is power: Consult with a wastewater monitoring specialist and undertake a short-term (4-6 weeks) monitoring project to understand exactly what’s happening with your wastewater. The specialist should devise a bespoke project to look at wastewater treatment and measure a variety of different parameters from level and flow to Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Fats, Oils and Greases (FOGs) and how they could be adversely affecting your overall process.

• Analyse the data: The monitoring project should deliver a comprehensive report based on the data gathered via the monitoring equipment. An expert wastewater data analyst will be able to interpret the data and pick up on any spikes or anomalies and provide a precise picture of wastewater treatment. This will highlight any issues and enables a plan to be drawn up to address them.

• Keep it clean: Most wastewater monitoring projects we complete for food processors highlight the huge importance of a consistent and effective cleaning regime within the factory or processing unit. Many problems with a breach of consent have been rectified simply by improving or adding to the existing cleaning procedures. This, in turn, enhances best practice amongst the entire workforce.

• Boost productivity: Implementing wastewater monitoring can have a positive effect on the productivity of the factory. It will undoubtedly help improve and inform current policies and procedures which will lead to a much more efficient and economical process. 

• Achieve cost savings: Yes, it is possible to save money! If you don’t know what’s going on with your wastewater you will almost certainly be wasting valuable money on raw materials. What’s more, you could be fined for any pollutions as a result of not meeting consent agreements. 

Line closures cost money. Operational delays cost money. Missed orders cost money. Pollutions damage the environment and corporate reputation. So, stop throwing money down the drain and implement wastewater monitoring to ensure your process meets its respective compliance and regulations and achieves cost-savings. The business will benefit and thank you for this!

Dave Walker is commercial director at Detectronic.

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