Aeration Tank Efficiency

Given the rising costs of energy in our province, it is important that aeration tanks that process waste water run as efficiently as possible. Whether at the municipal or industrial level, it is estimated that electricity typically accounts for about 30% of the cost in wastewater treatment. This article will examine what is needed to ensure that that you are getting the most out of your aeration tank.

Aeration System Components

Essentially aeration systems can be divided into three main parts including: airflow generation, airflow distribution and aeration control. To obtain maximum aeration tank efficiency, each of these parts must be operating at optimal levels.

Types of Blowers

As technology has improved, more efficient types of blowers have been developed. For example, systems that use straight oxygen (O2) require significantly less energy than those that use air. Furthermore, it is essential that the right size and horsepower blowers for the tank be used.

Using multiple blowers is also beneficial because it reduces the chance that a system-wide pumping failure might occur. As old air blowers fail, companies and municipalities may choose to replace them with O2 blowers. While they can be replaced all at once, doing so requires a large amount of capital so it often makes more sense financially to replace them over time to gain greater efficiency.

Process Piping

The piping system is another critical component for helping determine the efficiency of the aeration tank. If the pipes are too small, blowers with more horsepower may be required. If the pipes are too large, the system may become too difficult to control.

Equipment Components

Additionally, each of the components of the aeration tanks must meet certain standards to ensure efficiency. These components include air control valves, airflow meters and DO meters.

  • Air Control Valves – Valve size should be large enough that they can operate when they are 30-70% open. They should be installed downstream of airflow meters in order to reduce the amount of possible disturbances in the airflow.
  • Airflow Meters – There are several different types of airflow meters on the market and all work well as long as they have been properly installed. These must be placed a minimum distance either upstream or downstream of a disturbance. The manufacturer’s guidelines on this distance should be adhered to for optimal efficiency.
  • DO Meters – DO Meters have become standard in municipal wastewater plants. These optical-based meters are popular because of their reliable readings and also because they require only a minimal amount of maintenance. These meters should be placed between halfway and two-thirds down the aeration control basin.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Finally, even if you have all the best components, you won’t optimize your efficiency without proper maintenance and regular cleaning. As tanks fill up with sludge, they become less efficient but regular cleaning can help restore them.

The efficiency of an aeration tank comes down to both the components that are used as well as its ongoing maintenance. If you would like to improve the efficiency of your municipal or industrial tank, contact Wessuc today. A member of our team would be happy to meet you for a consultation and discuss possible ways to improve your efficiency.

The Benefits of Using Vacuum Trucks

It frequently amazes our clients how the Wessuc team is able to clean industrial tanks and reservoirs and haul away waste materials using our super vac trucks. There are many benefits however to using vacuum trucks for this purpose.

While there are a variety of types of vacuum trucks and attachments all designed for specific purposes and industries, these vehicles do share certain similarities. They are equipped with high-powered vacuum and hydro-excavation systems which are designed to clean out various types of industrial tanks, lagoons and municipal water infrastructure. These vehicles are also equipped with debris tanks of their own for hauling away materials for safe disposal.

The benefits of vacuum trucks for this purpose are as follows:

Versatility

There are a variety of makes and models of vacuum trucks on the market today that are equipped for a variety of cleaning jobs for both wet and dry debris. These vehicles can haul away large amounts of hazardous material as they are equipped with water tanks that can hold up to 1,500 gallons and debris tanks that can hold up to 2,000 gallons.

Safety

Employing vacuum trucks and experienced crews for cleaning tanks and reservoirs is one of the fastest and safest ways to get the job done. At Wessuc, our crews are fully trained and certified and our equipment is always well maintained and equipped for the job.

Operators undergo extensive training in Confined Space Entry, WHMIS, First Aid, Electrical Awareness, Traffic Protection and more.

Convenience

The most convenient way to have tanks cleaned is for it to be done onsite by experienced professionals with the right equipment. Our vacuum trucks require minimal water and our technicians are proficient at what they do.

Moving tanks and other equipment around is inconvenient at the best of times, but our fully mobile cleaning units save you the hassle.

Cost Savings

Since cleaning can be done onsite, it eliminates many of the costs that would come along with it otherwise. The logistics of each site are assessed ahead of time before the cleaning crew arrives with the super vac truck.

Before their arrival, safety issues are addressed and a plan is developed which in turn mitigates the risk of any unforeseen costs.

Operations Efficiency

Since tanks and other reservoirs are cleaned onsite, that means less downtime for the business or municipality. The amount of time that tanks or vessels are out of operation is reduced as there is no transporting them back and forth. They can be put back into operation as soon as the cleaning process is complete.

Further efficiency is gained by the fact that waste from the industrial tanks is captured directly in the debris tanks of the trucks making it ready for safe transport and disposal.

Whether you operate a business that uses industrial tanks, or whether you work for a municipality and are sourcing service providers to assist you with your cleaning needs and transporting materials, the team at Wessuc can help.

Contact us today for more information.

Waste-Free Ontario

In June 2016, the Ontario Government passed the New Waste-Free Ontario Act. This new legislation hopes to create “a circular economy where we have zero waste and zero greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector and where all resources, organic or non-organic, are used and reused productively to maximize the reintegration of recovered materials back into the economy”1

The historic linear thought of “produce-use-dispose” is harmful to the environment, financially risky, and not sustainable. Every year, approximately $1 billion worth of recoverable materials are lost to landfills across Canada.2 In 2013 alone, Ontario generated nearly 12 million tonnes of waste, which is the equivalent of almost a tonne of waste per Ontario resident each year.3

Organic waste is a particular problem because when it is landfilled it breaks down and emits methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more harmful to our climate than carbon.4  If Ontario’s organic waste diversion rate is increased by 10%, we could avoid emitting nearly 275,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.5

And yet, one particular organic waste, nutrient rich biosolids, is still being landfilled across Ontario. Each Ontario household creates approximately 1.2m3 of biosolids per year.6 And as populations across Ontario continue to increase, the amount of biosolids produced is going to continue to increase. Landfill space in Ontario is precious. There is a continuing landfill capacity deficit in Ontario, which means we have to export a significant amount of our waste to foreign landfills.7 So why are we still wasting landfill space on a material when it can be beneficially reused?

Land application of municipal biosolids is a sustainable way to not only reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfills, but also as a way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and to provide essential micro and macro nutrients to agricultural soil across Ontario. Land application closes the circular loop outlined in the Waste-Free Ontario Act. Instead of biosolids being wasted and sent to landfill, they can be reused on agriculture fields as a very valuable source of nutrients.

  1. Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
  2. Natural Resources Canada, 2006.
  3. Based on data from Waste Diversion Ontario, 2013; Residential GAP Diversion Rates, and Statistics Canada, Waste Management Industry Survey 2012.
  4. Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
  5. Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
  6. Water Environment Association of Ontario.
  7. Ontario Waste Management Association, 2015

Three Key Benefits of Solid Capturing

The process of solids capture is a cornerstone of waste management productivity for innumerable reasons. Some people within the agricultural and environmental industries may already be aware of capturing solids and its various advantages. For those that do not know, solid capturing or dewatering is essentially the process of wastewater being divided into its liquid and solid constituents. In other words, the not-so-useful sludge we call wastewater is converted into two resources that possess much more utility: freshly treated water and nutrient-rich biosolids. Read ahead to discover how this by-product of water treatment is an economic, environmental, and agricultural asset.

Economic Benefits

Biosolids that are sifted from wastewater would normally be a nuisance that would be expensive to dispose of; however, biosolids have been found greatly beneficial when it comes to agriculture, forestry, lawn maintenance, and home gardening. As well, a lack of solid capture would be more costly for water treatment facilities as it would lead to more frequent maintenance and the breakdown of certain mechanical processes over time. Those that use biosolids on their soil will see economic benefits in their crop yields and overall soil quality. Furthermore, these people will save money as this valuable resource reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.

Environmental Benefits

Since biosolids are a recycled commodity, they are helping the environment simply by reducing what needs to go to the landfill. For farmers, gardeners, and foresters that fertilize with biosolids, they can avoid using chemical fertilizers that have adverse effects on the surrounding environment. Even the process of isolating biosolids from wastewater through dewatering is an eco-friendly act since it improves overall water quality. This means safer drinking and swimming water for us as well as for fish habitats. The suspended solids that biosolids are eventually removed from a can actually harbour a variety of viruses and damage a fish’s respiratory system. To sum it up, biosolids promote more environmentally conscious soil and water maintenance while reducing the impact of our ever-growing landfills.

Agricultural Benefits

In addition to being economically and environmentally viable, biosolids have also proven a precious resource for the agricultural industry. As previously mentioned, biosolids reduce the need for chemical fertilizers; this makes for safer, more natural land while removing a notable expense. The high-quality composition of biosolids is worth mentioning as well. They contain nutrients that are vital to plant growth like phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. Besides these valuable nutrients, biosolids also offer a variety of heavy metals that are considered invaluable micronutrients for plant life. These micronutrients include but are not limited to zinc, nickel, copper, molybdenum, cobalt, and selenium. The presence of these key nutrients equates to greater crop growth and yields and further enriched soil. There is a reason why biosolids are being used in similar areas of expertise ranging from forestry to mine reclamation.

In short, solid capturing has allowed us to create a revolutionary commodity. Biosolids are an opportunity to improve the quality of our fields and the environmental quality of our world as a whole. If you are ever in need of an eco-friendly compost or fertilizer, biosolids are certainly worthy of your consideration.

How Do I Know if My Tanks and Confined Spaces are Clean?

Proper cleaning of storage and processing tanks is essential for efficient and safe operation. Over time, these tanks can get clogged up with dirt and debris, thereby decreasing the volume that the tank can hold and causing mechanisms such as pumps and heat exchangers to work harder and less efficiently. Similarly, lagoons also require regular cleaning to ensure they too remain efficient.

The question then, is how do you know your tanks and confined spaces are actually getting clean? Essentially it comes down to experienced personnel and the right technology.

Technology to get the job done right

To ensure that tanks are properly cleaned, you need to work with an industrial tank cleaning service that has the proper technology. At Wessuc, we have the technology to work with both municipal and industrial clients.

Using a dual vacuum system, we are able to maintain continuous suction. This allows the tank to drain faster meaning that it can get back into operation sooner. Using our unique dewatering unit, we can rid tanks and other confined spaces of a variety of sludges including those generated by chemical processing, wastewater treatment and various types of manufacturing. This can be done on site using very little energy.

The system works by causing a vacuum to form inside the tank. The liquid is pulled through a filter and a polymer may be added to the water to help with the separation of liquids and solids. The solids form a “cake” which is then removed from the drum with a blade.

Highly trained personnel

Of course, even the best technology is often limited by the expertise of those who use it. The job of tank cleaning has the potential to pose complex safety issues. Because of these facts, Wessuc uses only highly professional and well-trained tank cleaning crews.

Prior to their arrival, we conduct an investigation of the site to analyse any safety issues that may arise. This allows us to fully plan out the job before crews arrive on site.

Our crews have experience cleaning a wide variety of equipment and confined spaces including lagoons, water filters, water towers, aeration tanks, scum pits and more.

Other factors to consider

Meeting environmental regulations is also extremely important. In fact, many companies strive not just to meet regulations but to exceed them. At Wessuc, we work hard to ensure that these high standards are met.

Oftentimes, removed residuals can be beneficially used on farmland. But to ensure it is suitable, debris such as plastic, rags and hair must be removed. For this reason, we custom built a mobile screening unit which our cleaning crews use to physically screen sludge to remove this type of debris.

In other instances, we are treating wastewater that will eventually be returned to lakes, rivers and streams. This is done through a series of filtering stages, use of micro-organisms and disinfecting in order to make the water safe to reintroduce back into the environment.

If your company uses tanks or other types of confined spaces, having the right team and technology on your side for proper cleaning is essential. To learn more about our process, contact us today.