Saturday, 29 April 2017

Chemical Wastewater Troubleshooting Expert

I wrote an article on wastewater treatment plant troubleshooting for Chemical Engineering Progress magazine in the US last week, and had a opportunity to practice my skills in the area for real yesterday.

As I wrote in the article, I was far from the first person to visit the site, though I will be the last, as I will actually solve the problem. I can see why people are loath to employ a professional engineer in these cases. Chemical engineers are not cheap, especially not compared with the tanker drivers, farmers, tradesmen and miscellaneous others who are more than willing to have a crack at solving effluent treatment plant problems.

Even when the plant is treating straight domestic sewage, their lack of a systematic and analytical approach makes using non-professionals for troubleshooting a false economy. When the effluent is a complex and variable mixture of sewage and chemical wastes, amateurs should tell the client to call on a professional. If only they would, but it is only professionals are obliged to to work outside their area of competence.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Industrial Effluent Treatment Troubleshooting

We just signed a contract for a new troubleshooting job, for treatment of a complex and highly variable chemical effluent. I'm be going out to have a look at it soon.

I'm continuing to gather and analyse data on the other troubleshooting job I have on the books. I think the picture is firming up there, though I don't think it is going to get to the point where it is absolutely certain what is going on, I think it is already clear enough to act with sufficient confidence in the results. 

I'm looking forward to teaching wastewater treatment plant design at Manchester University next week, and making some more progress with my water treatment plant book. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Troubleshooting Wastewater Treatment Plant

I'm writing an article at the moment on troubleshooting wastewater treatment plant. I'm also doing a fair amount of the real thing at the moment. I'm gathering and analysing data on one of the underloaded plants I have been looking at for some time, and I have a new enquiry in for a new underperforming plant.

I'm on my second pass through my new book on water and wastewater treatment plant design, informed by my years of troubleshooting badly specified, designed, operated or maintained sewage and effluent treatment plant.

I don't have a lot of expert witness work in at present, but I'd rather be an engineer with a side-line in expert witness work than the other way round. In my last court appearance, "the other side's barrister" questioned my experience as an expert witness, and I pointed out that I was an expert engineer, rather than an expert in being an expert as so many in my field are.  

I am fully trained in all aspects of expert witness work, and I do a few cases a year, but mostly, I am a practising engineer, who only acts as an expert in cases to do with my professional practice. 

Friday, 7 April 2017

Water Treatment Plant Process Design Expert

I've mainly been working on my new book this week, "An Applied Guide to Water And Effluent Treatment Plant Design". The other two (An Applied Guide to Process and Plant Design" and "Process Plant Layout" are still selling well.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Data Analysis,Troubleshooting and Reporting

I submitted my report on the problems with a commercial sewage treatment plant last Friday. An analysis of the limited sampling data gathered so far was inconclusive, though I would not be surprised if there turned out to be a relationship between BOD, Suspended Solids and Turbidity. There usually is.