3 Special Considers For Industrial Flow Control At Wastewater Treatment Plants

Posted on: 13 October 2022

There's no such thing as a simple industrial flow control problem. Facilities of all shapes and sizes must deal with complex engineering challenges when transporting water or other fluids. However, wastewater plants face numerous unique issues that are less common or nonexistent in other industries.

When designing, modifying, or maintaining wastewater treatment systems, selecting appropriate flow control products is crucial for safe and reliable long-term operations. When making flow control purchasing decisions for any large treatment facility, these three special considerations should always be among your top priorities. 

1. Debris and Solids Management  

Early stages in the treatment process, especially before waste passes through bar screens, often involve dealing with large solids and other debris. Inflow pipes may contain anything from large, discarded items to twigs, branches, and other storm debris. While pretreatment and settling will eventually remove these items, they will still be present in plumbing before these systems.

Valves and other flow control items must account for the presence of this large debris. Specially designed flow control devices are necessary for these areas to prevent jams, clogs, and other failures that can reduce flow into the plant or even cause a maintenance shutdown. 

2. Backflow Prevention 

Arguably a worst-case scenario for any wastewater system is substantial backflow. Backflow can occur due to clogs or problems at nearly any point in the system, from residential point sources to wastewater treatment facilities. Backflow poses significant community health risks in addition to creating a costly clean-up problem.

Backflow prevention is critical in the design of any portion of the sewage system, and treatment plants typically require specially designed reduced pressure zone assemblies to reduce or eliminate backflow. These components are necessary to ensure the system's safety and prevent any possibility of backflow reaching potential cross-contamination points with potable water supplies.

3. Reliability and Uptime

Wastewater treatment plants operate around the clock and receive a steady flow of untreated water. While many municipalities build at least some redundancy into the system, downtime for all or part of a plant can stress a city's ability to deal with its wastewater. As a result, components in wastewater treatment plants must maintain a high degree of reliability and uptime.

Flow control products, in particular, must be resilient to grit, sludge, grease, and other waste byproducts that may be present even late in the treatment process. Backflow preventers, leak protection systems, water meters, check valves, and more must be able to deal with these issues to prevent costly and potentially damaging system downtime.

For more information, contact a company like CS3 Waterworks.