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Ask the Wastewater Expert

Daniel L. Theobald

Known in the industry as “Wastewater Dan,” Daniel L. Theobald, proprietor of Environmental Services, is a professional wastewater and safety consultant/trainer. He has more than 24 years of hands-on industry experience operating many variants of wastewater treatment processing units and is eager to share with others his knowledge about water conservation (

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Microorganisms in activated sludge

Someone recently asked, 'What microorganisms are in activated sludge?'
June 23, 2014
In the activated sludge process, microorganisms are mixed with waste water. The microorganisms come in contact with the biodegradable materials in the wastewater and consume them as food.
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Activated-sludge troubleshooting guidelines

Someone recently asked, “What are some troubleshooting guidelines or procedures for overall process control of activated sludge?”
June 18, 2014
Someone recently asked, “What are some troubleshooting guidelines or procedures for overall process control of activated sludge?”
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Procedures for overall process control of activated sludge

May 30, 2014
To control activated sludge, you need to “have a handle” either on aeration, sludge-wasting or return-sludge flow. Aeration-rate adjustment is probably the simplest way to go, says Wastewater Dan. But he briefly reviews all three methods in today’s blog.
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The measurement of suspended solids

Someone recently asked, “What are the procedures for measuring sludge concentrations and amounts? How is sludge quality determined?”
May 5, 2014
Sludge quality can be determined by measuring the solids concentration in various tanks, by solids inventories or by determining the sludge-return and wasting flow rates.
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How sludge settles is a key performance indicator

Someone recently asked, 'What are some procedures for measuring settle-ability of activated sludge?'
March 31, 2014
Collecting samples, use of equipment for simulating settle-ability and the interpretation of results are all part of measuring activated-sludge settle-ability.
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Productivity Perspectives

Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker, editorial director of Processing magazine, has been writing about process industry, automation and information-technology markets for more than 20 years.

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Automation suppliers see chemicals, pharma market gains

June 23, 2014
Bookings at surveyed automation and instrumentation suppliers were up more than eight percent in Q1 2014, says the MCAA’s quarterly Industry Group Report, compared to the same quarter one year ago.
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From the show floor

June 10, 2014
The American Water Works Association was established in 1881 but its work has never been more important than it is today, as the relationship between water, public health, global economy and quality of life are laid out in ever-more stark relief on this billions-of-people planet.
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The on-going evolution to better, Internet-based pump buying

May 27, 2014
Google “buy pumps,” and you wind up in the ladies’ shoe department. But Google “buy industrial pumps,” and online marketplaces pop-up for all kinds of pumps heavily used in process industries. One website says it stands apart when it comes to keeping buyers -- and sellers -- “fully engaged.”
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Process professionals of the Great Smoky Mountains

Eastman Chemical turns out for an e-Chem Expo in its own backyard
May 13, 2014
Eastman Chemical Co. has operated in Kingsport, Tennessee, at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, since 1921. What’s top of mind at Eastman Kingsport was on display at the recent eChem Expo. Safety came first, followed by hard work and the pursuit of technology leadership.
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We’re not quite to that point yet…

Supply chain management strategy combines applications and network connectivity
April 29, 2014
How computerization improves supply-chain management continues to evolve. While emphasis began with model-based, long-range planning, the crux of the matter is really supply-chain coordination and execution.
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