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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. (

What are reader water & wastewater questions from my articles?

Readers have been submitting their questions to Wastewater Dan for some time now. In no special order, and edited for readability, below please find a brief selection of them. Do you share similar type concerns? Send us your comments, concerns and questions as well.
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What is reverse osmosis and how is it best used?

In wastewater treatment, reverse osmosis is a water purification technology that, like ultrafiltration, uses a semipermeable membrane to remove larger particles from drinking water. But in reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure, a colligative property that is driven by chemical potential, a thermodynamic parameter.
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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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