Friday, 8 December 2017

Expert Witness: Industrial Effluent Treatment Plant

I'm producing an advisory report about an industrial effluent treatment plant which reportedly didn't meet specification. So far it seems to have all of the standard elements of such cases, though as ever, there are always a few additional wrinkles.

Last week's report was well received, and I'm expecting a question or two in due course.

That one was probably the most one-sided report I have ever written, not because I was acting as an advocate, but because I simply couldn't find anything positive to say about the case advanced by the other side at all.

It is however more usual that the situation is more like the case I am presently looking at - not a slam-dunk for either side, which is not to say that it isn't possible to come to a more likely than not conclusion about the questions being asked. It almost always is. 

Friday, 24 November 2017

Expert Witness: Advisory Reports : Water and Effluent Treatment : Process Engineer

I'm hoping to finish my draft of an advisory expert report today on engineering documentation quality in time to start on a new expert witness instruction for a second advisory report in a scenario I have advised on many times.

I haven't seen the paperwork yet, but I have advised on many failed effluent treatment plants in cases where there is a dispute about whether the plant failed, how it failed, and whose fault it was. This new instruction seems to tick the usual boxes., though I'm always willing to be surprised when I get into the detail.

Other than that, it's a week to go to submission of book 3, I'm teaching water treatment plant design at Chester, preparing for teaching at Manchester in the new year, awaiting an order for a design and commissioning job, and awaiting sample analyses on a second design job.

Nicely busy... 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Expert Witness: Water Engineering Design Process Deliverables

I'm just awaiting a payment from a new overseas client for an expert witness job to do with quality of supplied engineering documentation. It has some unusual aspects, but there are national and international standards which apply to the quality and characteristics of engineering documentation, irrespective of sector.

Other than that, awaiting the purchase order for a fair-sized commissioning job, and my post-Xmas teaching job. Once it all comes in, I'll be good and busy, so I'm just crossing the tees and dotting the is on my third book..    

Friday, 10 November 2017

Water Treatment: Expert Witness, Design, Process Commissioning, Teaching, Training, Writing
















I've conveniently just got my latest book (available for pre-order here) off my desk in time to turn my thoughts back to some knotty engineering problems.

Four contracts are poised to come in in the next few days for expert witness, process design, process commissioning, teaching, and training work. I'm going to be booked up more or less solid for the next three months, with any luck.

Friday, 27 October 2017

More Expert Witness Work: Water Process Engineering Design Deliverables

An Applied Guide to Water And Efflunet Treatment Plant Design Cover




















Another enquiry about expert witness work yesterday. It's another unusual job, but an NDA prevents me sharing further details. Expert witness work is always interesting.

Other than that, the various jobs I have been doing continue. The new book is getting polished.
Just a few weeks to go to submission now. I'm trying parts of it out on the students I am teaching process design to at the University of Chester. The cover will be as illustrated above.

There are quite a few jobs in the pipeline. As ever with having a small consultancy, some of them are bound to come in on top of each other, and I'll be very busy again soon enough. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Water and Effluent Treatment : Expert Advice

A mixed week, but all on the usual theme, water and effluent treatment plant.

I was hired for a consultation on Monday by some management consultants who wanted to know about the sector, and I had a highly unusual request for another bit of confidential consultancy.

Much of the rest of the week has been spent negotiating with the Environment Agency on the terms for a new consent to discharge, and polishing my new book.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Design

3D drawing of Reverse Osmosis Plant Design












Back when I first started writing, much of what I wrote were reviews of the books of others. This was an excellent place to start. Casting a critical eye over other author's books was a great introduction into how lack of attention to detail can undermine a good book.

However, having written so many outspoken criticisms of the books of others does however play on my mind when it comes to polishing my books before sending them to the publisher.

I'm completing the checking of how text and illustrations go together in my latest book next week. I'm getting the final illustrations together today. The pic above is probably going to be on the cover.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Troubleshooting Industrial Effluent Treatment Plants

I had an article on troubleshooting industrial effluent treatment plants published this week in "Chemical Engineering Progress" magazine.

Most of the week has been spent polishing my latest book "An Applied Guide to Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Design". The text is most of the way there now, (we are at Rev 5.0). I'm reviewing the illustrations today, as I think it needs some more pictures as well as all of the charts and tables.

I'm waiting on a contract for a fair sized design and commissioning job, and sample analyses for a second. I've got a couple of lecturing gigs lined up as well, at Chester and Manchester. Expecting formal contracts for them soon as well.   

It's good to be working on a book, as it nicely fills the time in between the peaks in demand of design or installation/commissioning contracts, which is why I have another one lined up after I finish this one.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Expert Witness: Sewage Treatment Plant

Things firmed up a little last week with the sewage treatment expert witness engagement enquiries, and progress was made with the final sampling required to complete the Environment Agency's risk analysis supporting the application for a variation to a consent to discharge

This week is mainly being spent on producing the final draft of the new book on water and effluent treatment plant design, unless we are surprised by a new enquiry.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Expert Witness Trade Effluent Charge Dispute, Industrial Effluent Treatment Plant Design Construcrtion and Commissioning

I got another expert witness enquiry last week, to do with trade effluent charges. That's the second in a short period. Summer often seems a popular time to sue people for some reason.

The real engineering jobs are continuing, with the submission to the EA for the required document package to ask for a variation to a bespoke trade effluent discharge consent almost complete, and just waiting now on the issue of another £150K contract to modify a commercial effluent treatment plant, with proper site work and everything.

I don't do a lot of hardhat engineering nowadays, so I'm always grateful for the chance to see something I designed come to fruition.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Expert Witness: Sewage and Industrial Effluent Treatment

I got an enquiry this week about expert witness work to do with high-strength industrial effluents. It seems likely that I will get appointed to do this over the turn of the year.

It's the full package of technical report, formal meeting of experts, production of a post-meeting "points of agreement and disagreement between experts" document, and a court appearance.

I've not had much expert witness work in recent months, instead, I've been doing a lot more proper engineering, which is all to the good. I wouldn't want to become an expert in being an expert, rather than in engineering.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Pump Selection and Specification Training: Webinars, Textbooks and University Courses

Pump Selection and Specification: Pump Curve




















I gave a webinar yesterday on intermediate level pump selection and specification intended to bridge the gap between what is taught in university, and how we really do things in practice. I used a version of materials and exercises I have used many times before in fact to face training.

I was not sure how well it would work in a webinar format, but feedback from attendees was very good. My collaborator Keith Plumb will be doing another next week on batch applications, and I may do one the week after on either positive displacement pumps or water industry pumps.

Other than that, it has been a week of writing my new book, and producing its illustrations, and grinding through the paperwork for the variation to a bespoke consent to discharge, and the associated environmental management system.

I'm hoping to wrap up the paperwork next week on site with the client, with a view to pursuing the EMS and application for a variation to the licence on a twin track basis (Environment Agency permitting)

The new book is in good shape, with the word count presently exceeded. Now it gets pruned back to the required conciseness, I ensure that it has a consistent tone and style, I make sure that all of the required illustrations are there, and I have permissions for them all.

I'm hoping to have the new book out in time to use it as a course text for a couple of university courses I will be doing in the next academic year. These will involve me working one day a week at one university before Christmas, and another one after Christmas.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Principal Designer: Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

We put out a bid this week to act as both principal designer and process consultant on an upgrade of an effluent treatment plant at a commercial site with onerous planning department issues. The CDM Regulations principal designer requirement came about as a result of the extensive demolition required as the first stage of the improvements. It's a nice little job, probably on site towards the end of the year.

We have another job which has many similarities on the books, but we are still at the stage with that one of agreeing with the Environment Agency a revised bespoke consent to discharge for the new plant, and helping to write the Environmental Management System which the site will operate under.

So there is real design and site engineering work going on, but there is a great deal of talking to regulatory authorities and the filling in of many forms.

I also went to Manchester University on Monday to give a talk on Process Plant Layout to fellow practitioners. Sold a few of my layout books. If you'd like one, they are cheapest bought direct from me here.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Consultancy on Environmental Permit Application Completion

I finished a completed draft of my book on Water and Effluent Treatment Plant Design this week, as well as a set of application forms for a variation to a bespoke environmental permit application. We also picked up an order to produce that EMS to BS8555 I discussed in my last post. Just another week's work for us...

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Consultant for Variation of Your Environmental Permit /Consent To Discharge: Producing an Environmental Management System

So this week has involved a lot of ploughing through Environment Agency guidance documents on the latest rules for applying for a variation to a bespoke consent to discharge treated effluent to environment.

Nowadays this requires the applicant to have an Environmental Management System(EMS), ideally to ISO 14000, EMAS, Acorn or BS8555 standards. I have agreed with my client that their EMS will need them to get to stage 3 on the BS8555 programme. They are presently around stage 1.

I used to do a lot of work in the area back when I worked for Envirowise, back when BS8555 was just an "Acorn". It is painstaking work, but I like the BS8555 approach. I think it leads to a better system, more tailored to ensuring genuine site specific best practice than attempting to buy in an ISO 14000 system from an external consultant with little senior management or staff engagement or buy-in. Bought in systems like that are at best box-ticking exercises. 

Friday, 30 June 2017

Change, transfer or cancel your environmental permit: Consent to discharge

I'm spending the day filling in the forms to make an application to vary an Environment Agency environmental permit for a client, (during my investigation of problems with their effluent treatment plant, it became clear that this would be required). These forms take quite some effort and care to complete correctly. No wonder then that if completed directly by clients, they might contain some errors.

So many people are unaware for example that you cannot for example put anything into surface water drains other than surface water. I lost track of the number of companies who were washing staff cars on site, with the dirty water produced going into surface water drains back when I used to do resource efficiency visits for Envirowise. There were plenty of others putting "clean" condensate from compressors etc. into surface or groundwater.

Doing it yourself or getting a non-professional to do it for you might well be a false economy.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Water Treatment Process Design Expert Witness

I'm waiting on a call from a potential new overseas expert witness instruction at the moment.

Most of the week has been taken up with designing and pricing wastewater tretamnt plant, and discussions with the Environment Agency about variations to discharge consents.

I've also been talking to a couple of universites about doing more teaching next year, (but not too much, I love engineering too much to ever consider full-time lecturing again).

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Design and Pricing Effluent Treatment Plant Upgrades

I've done a lot of exam marking this week, which necessitated travelling back and forth to Manchester to pick up and drop off the papers. Looks like I'll be back there again next year.

The rest of the week has been spent designing a couple of effluent treatment plants, talking to potential suppliers of the required equipment, and the Environment Agency with respect to a revised consent at one of the sites.

The latest book is also progressing well, easily on schedule for submission date. You can't get rich writing textbooks, but we do find it pleasant work. 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

A Mixed Bag

I had a nice variety of things last week - data analysis for the lab effluent discussed previously, costing up planning permission support for another effluent treatment plant upgrade, a bit of expert witness work to do with nitrifying filters, and a bit of support for the Manchester students who will sit an exam set by me on Monday. 

I also met a guy who came all the way from California to Matlock to discuss his effluent treatment enhancement product with me, with a view to me trialling it. There may be more about this product after I have looked at his data, and perhaps generated some of my own.

In the week to come, pricing up the final stage of two effluent treatment plant upgrades, and a lot of exam marking.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Effluent Treatment Process Plant Design Based On Water Quality Analyses

I spent today doing a conceptual design for a bespoke effluent treatment plant based upon analysis of effluent at the site over a week of normal running.

The new plant is a replacement for a standard package plant which was installed at the site, and the analysis makes clear why the package plant doesn't work. The effluent at the site is simply nothing like the domestic sewage such plants are designed to treat.

Package plants don't like fats, oils, and greases, nor do they like detergents, biocides, or other inhibitory chemicals. They really only like domestic wastewater. Mostly sewage, with a bit of bathwater, and some laundry. Lab wastes are not really their thing.