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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 (www.Conserve-On-Water.com).

What is Solids Separation Process Controls in Primary Wastewater Treatment?

Solids -- including those suspended, settle-able and floatable -- are non-liquid or fluid substances that are separated from clarified wastewater in primary treatment.
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In primary treatment, what are the pH process controls for treating wastewater?

The measure of free hydrogen activity in water -- called “pH” for “potential for hydrogen” -- is undoubtedly the most important and most-used wastewater treatment measure. Dependence on pH as a measure relevant to water quality and its control occurs in practically every phase of water supply and wastewater treatment, including acid-base neutralization, water softening, precipitation, coagulation, disinfection and corrosion control.
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What are process controls for treating wastewater in the textile industry?

The textile industry makes woven fabric from either natural or synthetic fiber. Natural fibers are vegetable, such as cotton, or animal, e.g., wool and silk. Synthetic fibers include rayon, nylon, acrylic, or polyester.
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What are the process controls for treating wastewater in the pulp and paper industry?

Large volumes of wastewater -- with elevated physical solids and organic waste concentrations -- are generated in pulp & paper making. Wastewater treating and discharge, and sludge-waste disposal, all have their challenges.
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What are process controls for treating wastewater in the dairy industry?

Dairy wastewater has a high organic load, requiring biological treatment for permit-compliant discharge. Successful, consistent biological treatment in turn requires stringent controls on primary treated wastewater, preceding dairy-waste biological treatment.
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Microorganisms in activated sludge

Someone recently asked, 'What microorganisms are in activated sludge?'
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?”
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

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?”
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?'
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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