Wastewater Analysis

The Operatives of Wastewater Analyses
Wastewater analysis is a crucial factor in reducing pollutants in water streams. The basic operatives of wastewater analyses begin with drawing samples from a wastewater source. This can be an industrial site that has runoff beyond their property line and has altered the purity of local bodies of water.

Wastewater analysis can be performed for commercial, industrial and residential clients. Once wastewater samples are drawn from the specified source, they are taken to a laboratory for testing. These tests are complex in nature and depend on the type of protocol the water authority mandates. For example, in the US, there are both state and federal authorities who determine the testing protocol and criteria. In other countries, the protocol and criteria may vary from one country to the next.

Wastewater Analysis Protocol
Each testing laboratory follows a Standard Operating Procedure which is the basic protocol used for several types of wastewater testing. For example, one testing protocol is used to determine specific types of gases while other protocols may focus on heavy metals or a specific pollutant like arsenic, lead or other chemicals suspects.

Wastewater Testing
The performance of wastewater testing, to be certifiably accurate, is done by chemists and lab technicians. Each has a certain segment of the testing criteria that they follow. For example, if certain excess gases are found in a testing sample, the testing criteria include the use of gas chromatography for the purpose of scientific discovery. In other testing criteria, isolating a suspect element in wastewater may require the use of spectroscopy to expose certain biological factors in each sample.

Analytical Testing Techniques
Most wastewater is testing for Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS) as well as total organic carbons (TOC), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). If required, sediment in wastewater is also added to testing techniques.

Why is Wastewater Analysis Important?
Wastewater is basically either industrial or waste found in sewage treatment facilities. It may also come from residential areas. When transport of residential, industrial or sewage waste travels through municipal pipelines, it is sent to a wastewater treatment plant where the content and matter in the wastewater is analyzed. Governments provide control over wastewater treatment to ensure the health and safety of residents. These wastewater treatment plants may be part of a network that performs analysis of wastewater.