Harvest season is coming, have you considered your soil health?

Harvest season is soon to be upon us in southern Ontario!

Dust will be flying as growers race to harvest their crops at the optimal time. Shortly after harvest, planning and planting for next year will begin. Be sure to consider your soil health when harvesting and planning for next year. There are a number of options available for growers to improve their soil, including:

  • Fertilizer
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Non Agricultural Source Materials (NASM) such as biosolids

Each nutrient source can help to boost your soil health and can provide unique benefits for your soil and the coming season. Each nutrient source has specific requirements for use under the Nutrient Management Act (NMA) that are important when considering which to use. Check out details for nutrient use here.

Wessuc’s primary recommendation is to pay attention to your manure storage. If your manure storage is filling up again, it should be your primary nutrient source as it also provides a great source of organic matter and micro nutrients to improve your soil health.

If you need help emptying it prior to any fall planting or field preparation contact us, we’d be happy to help with spreading. However, if you aren’t sure which nutrient source works best for you Wessuc can create custom nutrient plans and strategies in time for harvest season. Get started by emailing us at info@wessuc.com

Wet Well Maintenance and Design: What you need to know

It seems new subdivisions continue to pop up throughout southern Ontario.  As the population continues to increase, and before more homes are built, additional water and sewer infrastructure is required to ensure basic services can be provided. This includes sewage systems.

For sewage systems, Pumping stations are available in a variety of designs, with a plethora of options, to address specific needs. Smaller stations typically have only a wet well while large stations are often built with both a wet and dry well. Proper planning ensures the station is designed not only for immediate needs but in consideration of future growth.

Take a look at this article to discover some of the options available in station design.

Remember pumping station design can have a major impact on the maintenance and overall lifecycle cost of a sewage system. Once the pumping station has been designed and built you must keep in mind the maintenance of the system as well. Wet well’s especially have a complex configuration system that with poor design can be costly in wastewater management and septic issues. Whether you are designing a pumping station or already have one, it is important you have solutions ready and are prepared for wet well maintenance costs.

Contact us at info@wessuc.com to find a solution for your wet well maintenance or simply ask our advice for future planning.

Wet Well Maintenance and Cleaning Essentials

Proper Wet Well Maintenance Contributes to Sewer System Health and Decreases Risk of Sewer Backups and Associated Environmental and Economic Costs

Wet well maintenance is essential. Any number of things can cause a pump to fail resulting in sewer infrastructure damage, sewer backups or a spill into the natural environment. A recent article in Timmins Today, “Grease and Rags Clog Pumps, Raw Sewage Bypassed into Lake”, demonstrates how things can go very wrong with a sewage system and negatively impact the environment.

The need for monitoring and cleaning of pumping stations has increased over the past decade thanks to the introduction of so called “flushable wipes” and other “flushables” that increase the potential for pump plugging or failure. These items are, in fact, not flushable and whole campaigns have been set up to inform people about their damaging effects and associated costs. In addition to the increased use of “flushables”, new construction and cultural diet have contributed to the growing necessity for increased focus on wet well cleaning and maintenance.

5 Steps to Wet Well Maintenance & Cleaning

While there is no set standard when it comes to pumping station design or maintenance schedule, each station specific cleaning and maintenance needs must be assessed in accordance with the flows and sewage characteristics it receives.

There are 5 essential aspects to wet well maintenance and cleaning:

1. Wet Well Maintenance Safety Considerations

The first aspect for any maintenance and cleaning project is to ensure the project is completed in a safe manner. Wet wells are confined spaces and should be treated accordingly:

As wet wells often maintain flow during the cleaning and maintenance, extra care should be taken with gas monitoring as the gases in a wet well can change rapidly as influent is received from the sewer system.

2. Plan for Wet Well Cleaning and Maintenance

Each pump station has unique characteristics which will need to be accounted for. Some things will affect the maintenance operation, others may affect the safety procedures required. A wet well hazard assessment should be done prior to entry. Many municipalities have hazard assessments done for their pumping stations which should be reviewed with staff prior to well entry. Proper planning will tie into the safety, timing, water, and disposal aspects to ensure that the maintenance and cleanout activities are completed as efficiently and safely as possible.

 3. Timing of Wet Well Cleaning

Flows through a pumping station will vary throughout the day reflecting the hours that people inhabit those areas. In a heavy industrial area, working hours may experience higher flows, whereas a station servicing a residential area will have higher flows earlier in the morning and later in the evening.

Some pumping stations will have multiple wet wells which can be isolated thereby eliminating inflow as a concern. Smaller stations will have only one wet well and maintenance should be scheduled when flows are typically lowest. Most pumping stations have flow monitoring which will assist in determining the optimal times for wet well cleaning and maintenance.

Another timing consideration is the frequency at which stations need to be cleaned. Often a complete cleaning of a wet well is only needed 1-2 times a year. However, weekly or even daily maintenance by operators is needed to clean bar screens and readily accessible debris.

4. Water Considerations

Proper cleaning and maintenance of wet wells requires a water source to break up the debris that has built up in the pump station. Grease, plastics, hair, rags, and grit can collect in the station and require a high-pressure water source to break up, dislodge, and liquify debris for easy removal with a vacuum truck or submersible pump. If onsite water is unavailable, it can be trucked in to complete the project. 

5. Wet Well Cleaning Disposal

Once wet well clean-out debris is removed from the pumping station, it needs to go somewhere. Few wastewater treatment plants can receive the slurry/grit and debris from a pumping station wet well. Additionally, landfills will not accept material that does not pass a slump test (an indicator for overall solids concentration). Usually the material needs to be taken to a drying bed to solidify and then taken to a landfill for disposal. In some cases, it makes sense to process the material onsite, solidifying it for landfill disposal.

Implementing Procedures for Wet Well Cleaning and Maintenance Ensures Reduced Risk of Sewer Failures and Related Costs

To keep sewer systems running optimally, appropriate wet well cleaning and maintenance is crucial. Keeping the five steps to wet well maintenance in mind and ensuring that you have experienced workers performing the job will set you up for success. If you need to further explore your options for wet well maintenance, contact us; we can use our wet well maintenance expertise to customize the right plan of action for your facility.

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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.

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.