Industrial wastewater typically consists of a wide variety of pollutants like petroleum hydrocarbons, mercaptans, oil and grease, phenol, ammonia, sulfide and other organic compounds . These compounds are present in a potentially complex form within the wastewater and can pose a threat to the environment if discharged directly or indirectly.
Consistent monitoring of wastewater quality is therefore of high environmental importance. Proper monitoring provides information on whether oil separation from wastewater and surface water is within tolerable limits when discharged, as well as proving the downstream treatment stages are working properly. Proper treatment may also allow treated water to be reused in the production process or for other applications.
There are various benefits of monitoring the quality of industrial wastewater, including :
EFFLUENT REGULATORY COMPLIANCE
With increasingly stringent effluent regulations, industrial operators are under continuous pressure to ensure adequate treatment of discharged water. By continuously monitoring wastewater quality, greater visibility ensures detection and improved response time for changes / events that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Operators can foresee and resolve problems before they become compliance issues.
WASTEWATER PROCESS CONTROL
Along with meeting regulatory requirements, the availability of information on the condition and constituents of wastewater allow operators to modify the water treatment process prior to discharge or reuse it within the process. Regular monitoring is crucial in identifying existing problems or any issues that could emerge in the future.
Having continuous and reliable water quality data directly leads to a reduction in operating expenses, as cost savings may come through reduced energy costs, chemical usage, sludge disposal and more.
REDUCTION IN GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Global water utilities account for approximately 2% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions , which is the equivalent of the world’s shipping industry. By improving process efficiency through monitoring of wastewater, it is possible to contribute directly in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The recent climate summit (COP26) emphasised the role of GHGs in climate change, and wastewater monitoring can indirectly lead to emission reductions from water utilities.
Water efforts can no longer take a backseat, and water quality is only going to gain importance moving forward. By incorporating wastewater quality monitoring systems, organisations can eliminate guesswork across the board by optimising chemical feeds, eliminating unnecessary process steps, and reducing the cost for raw materials for water treatment.
AIE recognises the importance of having a proactive and advanced water quality monitoring system. Our proprietary software, Veracity EMS, is an environmental management tool that provides users with an interactive platform to collect, organise, display, and report environmental data. Users can monitor wastewater quality against client specific KPIs and use the software to drive critical environmental business decisions.
 Varjani, S., Joshi, R., Srivastava, V., Ngo, H. and Guo, W., 2019. Treatment of wastewater from petroleum industry: current practices and perspectives. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27(22), pp.27172-27180.