Investing in drinking water and wastewater systems is an essential step in protecting both public health and the environment. Yet, given the recent economic climate, making the decision to move forward on any capital project is one that involves a great deal of planning and consideration. Two key factors that should always be considered are cost and reliability.
Whether you’re designing a new facility or upgrading an older site, any capital investment should include the implementation of measures to protect that investment. For example, the most effective way to protect an equipment purchase is to follow manufacturer-recommended maintenance and service procedures and schedules. But how do you ensure that this maintenance is routinely scheduled?
1. Proper operator and maintenance training
Water and wastewater system operators play an essential role in ensuring the reliability and performance of equipment. Proper operation and maintenance of this water and wastewater treatment equipment depend greatly on the operators and the training they’ve received.
Receiving equipment-specific training from a manufacturer after installation and routinely throughout the life of the equipment is extremely important. Continued ongoing training is especially important, given the high turnover rate of experienced operators at many water and wastewater treatment facilities.
From an operations and maintenance perspective, some of the other common deficiencies affecting their ability to follow manufacturer-recommended procedures and schedules include:
- Lack of adequate treatment equipment
- Lack of maintenance equipment
- Poor record-keeping
- Absence of O&M manuals
- Lack of regular maintenance
- The absence of replacement parts
- Lack of on-site mixed oxidant chemistry
2. Choosing the right manufacturer
Because of your significant investment, the purchase of capital equipment is effectively the start of a long relationship between the purchasing company and manufacturer. Lasting far beyond the installation, start-up and commissioning of a system, it is vitally important that you take into consideration the manufacturer services offered throughout the life of the equipment (e.g., training, support, maintenance, etc.)
A simple review of the service offerings will help ensure a partnership with a manufacturer that understands what is required to support their system effectively.
MIOX® Mixed Oxidant Chemistry
For more than 20 years, mixed oxidant chemistry has gained increasing acceptance as an alternative form of disinfection treatment in water and wastewater applications. De Nora Water Technologies MIOX® systems generate a mixed oxidant on demand by combining salt, water and electricity to provide a stable source of disinfection.
Following any MIOX® system installation, an efficiency test is done to confirm the performance levels (operating temperature, sodium chloride, etc.) required for the constant production of a 0.8 percent sodium hypochlorite solution, using set salt and power consumption levels.
Once the original test is complete, operators are trained to perform the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual maintenance required to ensure operation at optimum levels. Following these manufacturer-recommended maintenance and service schedules will help to maintain the same efficiency levels, ensure compliance with warranty requirements and provide economic benefits to the end-user:
•Properly maintained equipment can be used for the full intended life
•Unnecessary replacements and repairs can be avoided, leading to significant cost savings
•Well-maintained systems will experience less unplanned downtime, reducing your need for backup methods of disinfection as well as the workforce needed to attend to the unplanned maintenance.
3. Maintaining solution strength
Maintaining a consistent solution strength is also key to the overall performance – not only equipment such as the MIOX® system but of ancillary equipment used with these systems as well. For example, an inconsistent solution strength places strain on chemical feed pumps when additional disinfectant (residual) is required. As a result, the pumps can incur unnecessary wear and tear and increased human resources to address any problems that arise.
4. Choosing maintenance contracts and parts
Two final ways to ensure the highest level of performance of any water or wastewater process equipment are to consider manufacturers’ parts or maintenance contracts and to use only manufacturer-recommended spare parts.
In short, water and wastewater process equipment are no different than any other major capital investment. Following manufacturer recommendations and proper maintenance are the best ways to ensure the long and productive life of your system.
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