Sometimes a facility needs a new or improved wastewater treatment system as quickly as possible. This can be due to process changes at the facility, regulators or municipalities pushing to meet discharge limitations, or municipalities charging unusually high surcharges to the client. All good reasons for a client to want a temporary pretreatment system in place as soon as possible.
How about having a full operating treatment system in 10 days? Yes, I said 10 days. Recently, our team at Mead & Hunt worked with a client that required a system to treat 70,000 gallons of wastewater per day, have pH control and remove high oil and grease effluent concentrations. The system also required at least one day of effluent storage, a temporary lift station and a sampling plan with equipment put in place.
Key issues in the planning and design phase
A well-functioning temporary pretreatment system starts with a solid plan that meets the needs of the contractor, project engineer and most importantly, the client. When considering treatment options, the consulting firm must identify a solution that meets required discharge regulations, provides efficiency with chemicals and labor, and addresses the long-term needs of the facility. In this situation, the plan needed to be accomplished quickly. Like most successful projects, planning began with an evaluation of the site along with a layout by a multi-discipline team of engineering and operations professionals.
Our in-depth experience has taught us that the following questions should be considered when designing a temporary pretreatment facility:
- Should equipment be purchased, rented or leased-to-own?
- What chemistry should be applied?
- What will the ongoing costs of chemicals and shipping of solids cost be?
- How will engineering design of the system accommodate current and future needs?
- What are the operation and staffing requirements?
- How will we provide safety and project management?
- What should the timing be to get equipment onsite?
- Are there any engineering concerns, such as piping, lift station location, or site issues?
Once you have defined effluent and performance criteria, then the treatment equipment must be selected, along with the temporary pumping and electrical requirements. For projects like these, considering the size of the equipment, conveyance needs, storage requirements, and constraints for the site is vital. These are not your normal design and build plans. You may not have a lot of treatment and pump options, and changes can be made to temporary equipment.
Many industrial or food and beverage clients are opting to have a single firm to plan, build, design, and supply the temporary system equipment. This makes sense to get a system operating within the necessary tight timeframes. Planning and building a temporary pretreatment facility takes considerable experience and technical skill. There are a lot of “moving parts” that need to come together quickly. Accomplishing this in 10 days takes extensive system knowledge and a lot of communication. It is also critical to have solid working relationships with suppliers to provide quality equipment in quick response time. But in our team’s experience, it can be done—and the results are worth the effort!