Wastewater Polymer jar testing is fun. Sometimes it is really fun, other times it makes you want to pull you hair out.

Food Processor Wastewater Polymer Case Study

Finished result of Polymer Jar Test showing current treatment in Graduated Cylinder.

Customer’s current treatment from April 2013.

We recently had been asked to re-test wastewater polymer for a prospective client. Most small industrial accounts don’t always know why nothing is working; just that something changed and they need it (their wastewater polymer treatment in this case) to work again. Last April I was called about a food processor who needed a better result so that they could sell their waste solids rather than pay to dispose of them. The current vendor made them feel they had it handled, but we were asked to test anyway. This prospective customer was convinced that they hardly used any chemicals. That wasn’t true based upon my site visit, on-site investigation and my jar testing. Their current results weren’t very good either. (Notice the lack of clarity and the small amount of sludge that has floated to the surface.)

Jar Test Showing the Current Treatment Failed to Float Sludge

Customer’s current treatment August 2013

Let’s fast-forward about 4 months and the customer calls again and asks us to conduct more tests. To make a long story short their current treatment isn’t working and neither is what we proposed 4 months ago where we demonstrated better clarity and sludge float. So we go back to the “drawing board” and try to make something work.

The Alpine Technical Services’ Difference

Part of what makes ALPINE TECHNICAL SERVICES successful is that we try to understand the process including existing wastewater equipment. We want to know which chemicals and in what amounts are used in the entire process and not just at the end when you are trying to clean up your spent wash/rinse/process water for return to your local municipality. We want to know how much water you are using and when as well as for how long.

Jar Test with Sludge that coagulated but didn't float.

While the sludge settles well and the clarity is awesome the sludge didn’t float.

With all this in mind we go to work. After modifying our past recommendation, we got a result that worked but didn’t work with the existing equipment. They have Air Assisted Clarifiers that they call DAFs – for Diffused Air Floatation.

Jar Test showing the results when correct waste water treatment solution from Alpine Technical Services

Jar 3 is the winner, Jar 1 being their current process; the change in color is due to a change in chemistry.

So this change in chemistry, while it gave much better clarity, the capture didn’t work either. After continuing to work with the ever-decreasing sample, we came up with this result (see Jar #3 below). Notice the clarity and the improved capture too! This solution will be easy for the customer to implement and will give them the results they need to meet their wastewater permit.