Keeping ammonia levels in check

Control and measurement equipment help to regulate effluent flows at sewage treatment works

Previously, achieving the required flow rate of discharged treated effluent and ammonia limit could be difficult, depending on the types of waste received on a particular day. Testing and monitoring was done manually and there was no easy way to electronically record results for future reference.

Now instantaneous, live data can be sent from the site and recorded on PCs for easy interrogation. This improvement has been extremely valuable for environmental management services by allowing works to demonstrate compliance to regulators to optimise site operations and plan for future improvements.

Alpheus Environmental has recently installed ABB control and measurement equipment to regulate effluent flows into receiving sewage treatment works at Basildon – improving operations on reduced future costs on site.

Tankered liquid waste is brought to the site by road tankers, treated and then discharged to the sewage treatment operated by Anglian Water Services.

Two key parameters which Alpheus is required to regulate and monitor are the flow rate of the discharged treated effluent and its ammonia level.

Following discussions with ABB, a solution was devised that uses an ABB ControlMaster universal process controller together with an ABB MagMaster flow meter transmitter unit. This arrangement controls the speed of the outlet flow using an actuator valve.

The ABB ControlMaster also receives input from an ammonia analyser. If the level of ammonia leaving site is close to reaching the consented limit then the analyser signals the controller to shut down the site and close any outlet valves. It can also send e-mails to Alpheus and Anglian Water when levels are nearing the consented limit.

An ABB SM500 data recorder was fitted to oversee, record and report the data from this new control system. Daily reports are produced giving statistics on the volume and ammonia loading, which are sent straight to the Alpheus server. Data can be exported to produce Excel spread sheets and graphs.

For more information, email or call 0870 600 6122 ref. “Alpheus‟.


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