IoT (Internet of Things), the network of devices and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and actuators that enables these objects to connect and exchange data, is improving lives and processes globally. Today, a homeowner can use IoT to remotely switch on an air conditioner to ensure an ideal climate upon arrival, or an organization can adjust climate control based on the number of people in a building. But IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) can influence and enhance far beyond these basic solutions, allowing users to achieve goals previously perceived unattainable and cut costs where it simply wasn’t possible before, including wastewater treatment.
A major producer of processed pork products was experiencing high costs for chemicals and labor for wastewater treatment. The producer’s high biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) levels were at extreme levels well over the limit, overloading the city’s sewage treatment plant. To save on labor costs, the pork producer partnered with DMP Corporation to control their chemical dosing and set an economical fixed rate throughout the day. The site’s highly variable waste streams required constant jar testing and dosing adjustments to keep the customer in compliance while still reducing chemical costs. If the fixed chemical rate was set to the worst case influent scenario, costs drastically increased. If the fixed rate was set too low for worst-case scenarios, violations and penalties occurred.
Inefficient dosing leads to unnecessary chemical costs and exaggerated equipment wear. However, by implementing IoT technology, DMP was able to help this client monitor chemical dosing and prioritize usage, optimize %NTU removal, and allow dosage adjustments to be made onsite or remotely. Over several months, DMP employed various methods to monitor the influent flow to determine the correlation between different contaminants such as NTU, COD and BOD. One method used was designing sensors placed before and after the second DAF to minimize sensor fouling. With this data, we were able to implement custom algorithm to automate coagulant dosing based on influent study and treatability
DMP produces a wide variety of modular wastewater treatment equipment to help decrease operating costs. By utilizing IoT applications and automated software, this customer saw a 40% decrease in chemical costs by reducing usage 10-20%. Larger customers with high chemical usage have the greatest opportunity to drastically increase their chemical savings.
To enhance treatment dosing and extinguish BOD surcharges, many operations are turning to automation and IoT solutions to optimize operations and phase out manual system intervention. Less expensive, better performing IoT connected turbidity sensors are used to feedback real-time water quality information to the central control unit before and after DAF processing. The control unit reads turbidity, pH, flow rate, and chemical composition, and then sends a 4-20mA analog signal to the pump base to adjust the coagulant feed rate to optimize the desired %NTU removal or other key process indicators. Data is captured, and key metrics are stored for historical use and benchmarking. Chemical inventory is also monitored, allowing for better order scheduling leading to adequate quantities to fulfill the system’s demand.
With the freedom and flexibility for plant managers and other authorized personnel to make dosing changes anywhere, anytime, our use of IoT applications not only slashes chemical costs and potential BOD surcharges, monitors and stores important water quality data and makes necessary adjustments, but can lead to better sludge management while optimizing recycle and reuse efforts. In addition, data collected by DMP can be used for artificial intelligence in their proprietary software to cut costs for clients, and allows for continual improvements over time, as well.
For operations that want optimized chemical usage and minimized operating costs, DMP Corp offers the premier solution. Visit DMP’s wastewater solutions page to learn more about their methods to cut costs and increase operation efficiency.