Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment

National Experts: Sam Cooke

At this facility, SCS’s analysis included biological, physical, and physicochemical treatment processes and off-site disposal at a POTW. Ammonia, the primary constituent of concern was removed using an activated carbon treatment process, which includes nitrification and denitrification unit processes too.

Stricter regulatory limits and increasing costs highlight the importance of having the right pre-treatment system for your operations. SCS Engineers has a strong record of providing timely, appropriate, and cost-effective solutions for industrial wastewater pre-treatment across a range of challenging contexts, including:

  • Food processing facilities
  • Military facilities
  • Mining operations
  • Oil and gas operations
  • Other industrial processing plants
  • Power plants

SCS handles complex projects, which include developing pretreatment systems for fats, oils and grease, heavy metal removal, high-strength wastewaters, and mixed waste streams. We can help you with your industrial wastewater pretreatment challenges by:

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) causing wastewater issues for a food service company.
  • Preparing feasibility studies
  • Designing and testing pretreatment systems
  • Obtaining permits
  • Installing and commissioning pretreatment systems
  • Providing construction oversight
  • Operating, maintaining and monitoring pretreatment systems

Prevention, Monitoring, and Treatment of Emerging Contaminants in Wastewater

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Impact of Action Plans
New water protection regulation, with a growing list of chemicals and concentrations considered toxic, along with public fears of drinking water contamination, will drive the need for more effective pretreatment of wastewaters by industries and landfills. Many industries will feel the impact as the federal, state and local regulations determine what is permissible and what will be enforced. The future regulations appear intended to foster wastewater reuse as a component of integrated water resource management.

EPA’s actions are part of a significant effort by the Administration to better coordinate and focus resources on the most challenging water resource concerns, including ensuring water availability and mitigating the risks associated with the potential for water scarcity. The EPA is working with the U.S. DOI and the USDA for a complete assessment of future water issues.

Per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances abbreviated as PFAS (e.g., Perfluorooctanoic Acid or PFOA, GenX compounds), are chemicals used by manufacturers in many commercial products and processes. PFAS can be problematic when the chemicals are present in wastewater that eventually flows to a potable water utility or may have seeped into groundwater. Analytical testing currently allows for the detection of PFAS chemicals at very low limits because these chemicals have been shown to have health effects at low concentrations and most PFAS do not easily breakdown. As such, PFAS are likely to be environmental and health concerns for years to come.

If your facility detects PFAS levels that could cause a health risk, as dictated by local regulatory authorities or the USEPA, there are treatment technologies available that can remove the substances from wastewater. These include ion exchange processes, reverse osmosis, and others. Activated carbon can also remove PFAS contaminants.

Managing Waste Generated from Treatment Processes

Manufacturers and municipal wastewater treatment plants, with sludge by-products, will need to be aware of the concentrations of PFAS in effluents discharged to surface waters. In addition to ammonia, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), pollutants such as chlorinated organic compounds, and now of growing concern: PFAS.

Known for the design-build of treatment systems, SCS Engineers puts our environmental engineers, scientists, and legal minds to work protecting your facilities. Our staff is actively involved with the ABA – American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) group that stays on top of current developments in environmental, energy, and natural resources law that affects business. SCS staff and the firm are active members of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the Produced Water Society (PWS). SCS Engineers has worked for and with the USEPA since its inception, along with state environmental regulators in all 50 states. For clients with PFAS issues, SCS can:

    • Perform wastewater PFAS sampling in accordance with current, state-approved regulations
    • Coordinate analyses with certified laboratories
    • Design-build facility appropriate response actions and systems
    • Provide maintenance, monitoring, and controls.

SCS has been delivering industrial wastewater solutions for over ten years. During this time we have developed excellent working relationships with regulators, which contribute to the timely success of our clients’ projects. Our broad range of experience across many sectors means we can provide integrated solutions using the best and most cost-effective technologies and methods.