218 Transcript

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welcome to scaling up the podcast where

we celebrate waste water thursday as the
scaling up nation happy wastewater
thursday everybody my name is trace
blackmore i get to host this awesome
podcast called scaling up h2o and i hope
you are having the best industrial water
week possible i know i am
i’ve enjoyed looking at all the pictures
that you’ve hashtagged with
iw21 and scaling up h2o now if i haven’t
seen your picture yet it’s not too late
on monday i asked you to send me a
picture of you with your favorite piece
of pre-treatment equipment
mine is a water softener in fact its
name is rusty we resurrected that or we
saved him from one of our customers the
old tank was just sitting in the back
and he’s got a big rust stain down his
side hence the name rusty and rusty now
resides in our warehouse and we use him
to help us blend
our products so what are you waiting for
show me your version of rusty
while you’re at it if you haven’t taken
a picture of your favorite boiler
go ahead and do that too
now years ago when i was working with my
dad i had a laundry that i serviced and
normally boilers are referred to as
number one and number two well these
boilers were not referred to as number
one or number two one was thelma and one
was louise you might remember that was a
movie and they had
special plaques proudly hanging
above each one of them in their own font
mind you that proudly said thelma and
louise and folks i said this on a way
early episode when we were talking about
service reports i used to call them
number one and number two there was
actually a sticker on them that said one
and two and nobody in that plant
knew what i was talking about i had to
start calling those boilers thelma and
louise in order to get people to do what
i asked them to do when i used the right
communication i was getting the right
results i had to call them thelma and
louise by the way that was a national
linen plant that i used to service up in
newport news virginia any listeners up
there what is that plant now are you
maybe servicing thelma and louise if you
are i would love to know that i don’t
know if the plan is still standing but
if there is a scaling up h2o listener
that is servicing some of my favorite
boilers i would love to hear about it
now yesterday i asked you to take a
picture of you in front of your favorite
cooling tower and i have to say for me
that was really hard to choose from i
just i mentioned yesterday i just
gravitate towards cooling and i don’t
know if i have a favorite cooling tower
however i will say
that one of my favorite hands down
behind the scenes tour was when i got
invited up to tawny town maryland and i
got to visit the avapco plant i saw how
these cooling towers that we’re charged
with treating
every single day
how they are made and all the technology
that goes into them before they’re made
and how they’re figuring out what the
next version of all these products are
it’s just amazing what avapco has done
and avapco has been a great friend to
this show so if you haven’t taken a
picture of any of those systems that i
just mentioned
please take an opportunity to catch up
today and remember as you post them
iw21
and scaling up h2o so we can all enjoy
those
one nation today is waste water thursday
and i remember one of my first waste
water experiences
that i had with my dad and my dad took
me to this place and i think i can call
it by name because i’m pretty sure
they’re not around anymore but it was
called natalie’s knitting in virginia
and i remember
they made sweaters and after they made
the sweaters it would go through a dying
process and the dye
was the issue
the dye
was coming out too high and making its
way down to the local municipality
and it was upsetting what the
municipality had to do
to clarify their water and they didn’t
like it
and they came to the plant and they
asked them very nicely in the way
municipalities do to fix that problem
well it didn’t get fixed and by the way
that wasn’t my dad’s account at the time
they then
came and they asked a little bit firmer
and it still didn’t get fixed and
because of my dad’s connection somehow
he got involved and my dad was asked to
go up there and help and my dad took me
along for training
and what we were doing i helped we were
trying to find the best flocculants the
best polymers that we could clear up all
of this dye
out of the water
now i don’t remember what combination we
ended up using
but i do remember that this was my first
experience ever with jar testing so we
had four jar stirs going at the same
time and that’s called a gang stir
and i could have sworn my dad called it
a gangster and i mentioned that on an
earlier episode and i get teased about
that just like i did
when i called it a gangster in front of
all the people that were watching my dad
do his magic trying to get the water to
change to clear
so again everybody has a good laugh on
trace blackmore that’s fine we’re all
having fun
i remember that it seemed to take a
while all these different combinations
that he was trying and some would kind
of work and then others wouldn’t work at
all and it seemed to take a while but
then when he started figuring out what
kind of worked
he was able to extrapolate well if that
worked i know enough about these other
products that i can eliminate some that
aren’t going to work and i can just hone
in on the ones that have the right
molecular weights and the right
qualities that we’re looking for
to get the results and once he did that
it started going pretty quick and it was
impressive
how my dad kept track of everything and
when he started finding the right
combination he then started dialing it
in
and
that jar became quick at the snap of a
finger so my dad then took that and he
multiplied it out by the whole system
that he had to treat
and then we went out and i remember we
unloaded bags off of a pallet and had to
carry them through the plant we had
other five gallon pails we had to carry
through and then we had to clean
everything that they were using out
flush everything through and hook all
this new stuff up my dad programmed what
needed to go in we actually had to wait
several hours for a new batch to come in
so we could just test what he worked out
on a brand new
unadulterated batch by the old formula
that was there
and then he fed it and it worked just
like it did in the gangster i mean the
gang stir
that was
so impressive to watch it was so
gratifying to see all that work come
together and the coolest thing was
because we had to wait so long it was
now the shift where the plant manager
was there and he saw the whole thing so
he didn’t see all the hard work my dad
put in now some of his supervisors did
and they were reporting to him what my
dad did
but what he got to see was the end
result and he was so impressed he shook
my dad’s hand and he got a purchase
order right then now who am i kidding my
dad was not very good with paperwork so
he probably didn’t get a purchase order
he probably just got a handshake
but he started doing their business and
i just remember thinking how cool that
was
and that was my
first
encounter
with wastewater
and i remember thinking after
all the things were ordered and you know
all the how wonderful this is and all
the things that you’ve done that they’re
buying
something that they’re immediately
flushing down the drain and i remember
thinking
actually i didn’t think it i told my dad
that what a waste that was and my dad
told me that i was thinking about it all
wrong
he said that they’re paying us so they
can stay open
without our help that municipality would
have eventually shut them down for
non-compliance
he told me that what we did that night
is we saved everyone’s job that worked
there
nation if you do not see how awesome
being an industrial water treater is
through this story
this was where i knew an industrial
water treater if they did their jobs
right
they were superheroes hundreds of people
were employed at this plant and because
my dad knew what to do they had a job to
come to tomorrow
that was just amazing to me and i think
i always enjoyed water treatment but
that was the day
that it locked me in that this was a
really special career
now that we’ve gone down trace
blackmore’s memory lane let’s do that
again with some of our episodes here’s
an excerpt from episode 53. this episode
originally aired october 4th 2018
and this is where friend of show kevin
cope gave us some tips about jar testing
and yes if you listen to this episode
kevin also makes fun of me calling it
the gangster in fact when he does awt
training he brings that up to everybody
that sits in the class there you go if
we’re all having fun i’m having fun too
it’s not a gangster it is a gang stirrer
anyway here’s kevin
so now that we know what a jar stir or a
gang stirrer or in my case a gangster is
how do we make sure that we’re using it
properly how do we make sure we’re
mimicking the system but then as you
were going in how do we know we even
need to use it or when’s the best time
to use it one of the things i always do
when we do our wastewater training class
is one of the questions i always ask
first in jar testing is what are you
trying to do
are you trying to remove zinc are you
trying to remove oil are you looking for
better settling are you looking for an
easier program or you’re trying to
reduce costs those are some of the key
and many others but those are some of
the key questions that you really do
need to establish before you run your
jar test
you know one of the things i always say
is we can add inorganic polymers till
we’re blue in the face and we’re not
going to precipitate zinc with an
inorganic polymer so you really need to
ask the customer
what am i trying to remove what are my
problems and those are really issues
that are really key to setting up a
correct jar test and as james is asked
to mimic what’s going on so those are
really keys
well you know once you have that
established you know what you’re trying
to do
one of the things i like to do is you
know walk the system or tour the system
see what it looks like do a line diagram
i’m great for drawing line diagrams and
things along this line
you know ask for swings in the
application
you know do they clean on the weekends
so therefore mondays are always bad do
they run 24 hours a day
what are the contaminants what are the
degree contaminants does it vary greatly
or does it very little you know look for
where the products are being fed where
their current programs are being fed how
are they being fed are they being
diluted are they neat is it a batch or
continuous operation you know and the
key here trace to me is when i’m walking
the system i always always always look
for points that i can take samples and
look at the water and we’ll get into
that later but that’s really a key point
for me
is any system that i walk through i
always look for if they’re adding a
coagulant is there somewhere after the
coagulants added that i can get a sample
and
that’s really a key for me when i’m
walking through a system and then you
know you look at what what are the
products that they’re being used and
understand the function
our next episode takes us all the way
back to october 8th 2020 and that’s
episode 162.
so once primary clarification is done we
move into secondary
and secondary clarification is really
where you’re going to take out some of
the dissolved materials specifically the
bod cod things that can be biologically
broken down all right
in our industry i don’t know what the
percentage would be but i don’t think
we’re going to see a lot of the
secondary treatment we may a lot of a
lot of the food plants almost every food
plant will have secondary treatment and
what happens there
is you have bugs and when i started in
this industry and the first time i heard
somebody call bugs i just looked at them
like really that’s the word you use and
that is the word that is accepted when
we talk in this industry so what happens
is you have these aeration pawns where
bubbling air all the time
and there’s bugs in there and these bugs
will eat the organics and break them
down okay and these bugs will break
these organics down cleaning the water
and then this water that has all these
bugs in it will be taken and brought
into a clarifier just like we just
talked about where they’ll settle out
the clean water will continue we’ll get
into where the clean water goes in a
minute but the the sludge the bug sludge
that settles to the bottom
that is one of two things can happen to
that they can either recycle that back
to the beginning of the secondary
treatment
or they can waste it to get rid of some
of the bugs now here’s why this this is
another little way somebody explained
this to me that stuck with me my entire
career
if you think of the biological aerobic
digester is what is called an aerobic
digester there’s air present as a
community
and you think of that as being people
okay
and you have these bugs basically people
and you have young bugs you have medium
age bugs and you have old bugs and if
you think of our society really the
young people the young babies and stuff
really don’t do a whole lot of work for
the society but now you get to the
middle age you know young adults to you
know um
little older adults really who do the
primary work within our society then you
have the elderly which really don’t do a
lot of work so what happens is in this
bug community now if you start getting
too young the bugs are too young you
don’t get a lot of work if the bugs
start getting too old you don’t get a
lot of work work being removed the
organics so what these customers will do
is they’ll take this sludge and they’ll
analyze it and they’ll say well we’re
getting too old we’re going to waste
some of the sludge to move the
the sludge age more down into the medium
range and and conversely
if we have too young the sludge we won’t
waste we’ll let those bugs become older
and become more in that center group and
so
that’s always stuck with me on how to
explain biological treatment so what
you’re trying to do is have a healthy
community of bugs which break down the
organics and and clean the water and
taking the organics out and you do that
by aeration where you have the air just
like our society air you have food food
being the waste that’s coming in and
then you have the bugs the communities
that are breaking this material down and
again that’s called secondary treatment
also from that same episode we listened
to a detective h2o installment nation i
know you love these as much as i do
james mcdonald he is the brain the voice
the editor all the things behind
detective h2o james please know that the
scaling up nation
loves detective h2o
we want more of them and i’m pretty sure
the scale up nation wants trace
blackmore to play a role just saying
nation here’s another installment of
detective h2o
[Music]
welcome to detective h2o the case of
breaking free
the rain ran serpentine paths down the
windows of the rusty blue fort as
herbert henry oxidane pi cwt set waiting
for johnny keyland to open a side
powerhouse door at pork bellies
processing
when the lanky man’s shaggy head popped
out the water detective made a run for
it dodging raindrops the best he could
get in here h2o before you melt i’m
running between the drops
let’s see this reverse osmosis system of
yours right this way said johnny as he
snaked his way through the building like
i said on the horn this ro system goes
south real fast we’ll clean it clean it
good and a week later maybe two
it’s moping along begging to be taken to
the cleaners again
how do you determine when it needs to be
cleaned
well we’re using the normalization
program provided by the membrane
manufacturer when the normalization
permeate flows drop by 10 to 15 percent
and the pressure drops increased by 15
we clean
we’re barely keeping up with the
permeate demand
hmm
can you tell me about the water you’re
processing through the ro system
oh yeah we’re the largest pork belly
processing plant this side of the
mississippi you see that requires a lot
of water we get our water directly from
the grace noel river
after filtration clarification and
disinfection some of the water comes to
this ro system to make high purity water
for us
our silt density index is run daily it
is always spot on showing good quality
water for oral membranes
our free chlorine test before the ro is
also always spot on before the
dechlorination step you see
yet despite my crew babying the system
the membranes have to be cleaned far
more frequently than we ever imagined
that can’t be good for them
have you sent any of the membranes out
for an autopsy to determine what is
fouling them
yes three times it is always biological
fouling
biological fouling interesting
let’s take a look i’d like to walk down
the length of the system see the
chemical feed points review your data
take a look at the autopsy reports and
run a few tests myself
let’s start with a walk through
for the next several hours the water
detective got the scoop on the pork
belly’s processing water treatment
system everything appeared to be ship’s
shape this was a well-run plant and as
far as he could tell well-designed the
crew’s care and dedication were obvious
figured out the culprit yet detective
not quite yet but i have a hunch
let’s go collect some water right before
the chlorine disinfectant is added we’ll
need a clean bucket
[Music]
after collecting the water sample
detective h2o lined up several beakers
with 100 ml of the water sample in each
prepared a diluted bleach solution and
carefully injected different amounts of
the solution into each water sample
after thoroughly stirring he started the
timer
in the meantime he also tested for
ammonia earlier the water detective had
calculated the residence time of the
chlorine disinfectant in the system from
the point of injection to the point of
dechlorination just before the ro system
it was 25 minutes
after this time elapsed he tested each
100 ml water sample for free chlorine
then he fired up his computer barely
more than an abacus and graphed out the
data lastly he smiled or at least he
defined it as a smile
johnny noticing the change in the water
detective’s face said i don’t know
whether to be scared or encouraged by
that uh smile you’ve got going on there
are you onto the culprit
definitely encouraged i may have cracked
this case wide open take a look at this
i added different levels of diluted
bleach to each of the water samples you
saw me pour out the chlorine
concentration added increased from left
to right as i had them setting on the
lab counter
i gave them time for the free chlorine
to react with whatever was in the water
the same time it would have in this
system out there
after this time i measured the remaining
free chlorine finally i graphed it out
here see this curve
yes there’s a bump in the middle is that
normal
well yes and no
but it’s what i suspected i would see in
your case
when chlorine is introduced to a system
it reacts with several things our desire
is for it to react with the microbes in
the water first so the water is properly
disinfected that way your membranes
won’t foul
and fortunately there are other
components in the water that can react
with the chlorine even faster the
typical culprit is ammonia ammonia can
get into surface waters from farm runoff
and so forth when ammonia reacts with
chlorine it forms chloramines such as
monochloramine a form of combined
chlorine
now chloramines are a disinfectant but
some research shows that monochloramine
may be 25 times less effective than free
chlorine at killing microbes to get the
killing power free chlorine you must
first react with all the ammonia after
the ammonia is gone and the chloramine
reactions are at completion the
remaining chlorine disinfectant you add
will form free chlorine
this is called break point chlorination
and that’s where the upward sloping line
starts after the hump on the graph
okay i get what you’re saying there
detective h2o but i still don’t get what
it has to do with us we test our water
for free chlorine every shift not
monochloramine but free chlorine
it is within the control range every
time that should be good enough
shouldn’t it what gives
yes you make an excellent point which
brings me to the second part of my story
what you see isn’t always what you get
monochloramine can be a positive
interference to the dpd free chlorine
test to use
that means even though the sample turns
pink and you think you have a true free
chlorine residual in your water it is
actually monochloramine interfering with
your test
you don’t have the killing power you
think you have in your water which would
certainly explain the biological fouling
on your aural membranes
and you’re sure this is happening to us
i tested the water prior to disinfection
for ammonia and found it looked at this
level to reach breakpoint chlorination
you need to feed a weight ratio of 8 to
1 or higher of chlorine to ammonia based
upon your records and data you’re only
feeding enough chlorine to get halfway
up the hump
there’s no true free chlorine at all to
do the disinfection you want
wow what do we do
you have a few options
first you can feed more chlorine to the
system to reach break point chlorination
and beyond to your true free chlorine
control range
second you could supplement the chlorine
biocide with another biosign which is
auro membrane compatible
third you could look at replacing the
chlorine bias side with another one that
may be more effective considering your
current water conditions
there are other options we may be able
to consider as well
there are pluses and minuses that come
with each option
we can do a thorough feasibility
analysis on each of these options let’s
prove my theory first by feeding more
chlorine
that sounds like a good plan detective
h2o thanks for your time
detective h2o suspicion were proven to
be true over the coming year as the rl
membrane cleaning intervals increased
from weekly to quarterly after initially
increasing the chlorine feed a
disinfection feasibility study was
conducted systems were piloted and
changes were made that increased the
cleanings to every six months
detective h2o had truly saved the day
once again
[Music]
in the underbelly and penthouses of the
metropolis of waterville where the
boilers percolate and cooling towers fog
there is one man who works tirelessly to
end corrosion stop scale fight low-life
microbes and conserve water that man is
detective h2o best water treater this
side of the ohio solving water problems
drop by drop
in the beginning of this episode i asked
you to catch up with all of your picture
posting but i didn’t ask you to post
today’s picture
this is what i want you to go stand in
front of and take a picture of
whatever your favorite piece of waste
water equipment is
proudly stand in front of that snap a
picture of that upload it to your
favorite social media site and hashtag
it with iw21
and hashtag scalinguph2o
nation today’s celebration wouldn’t be
complete without a new mini james
challenge and again the challenge is
many we haven’t shrunk james mcdonald
we’ve just made the challenge a little
bit smaller so here is the new mini
challenge
hello scaling up nation and happy
industrial water week today’s wastewater
thursday james’s mini challenge is
post a picture of pinflox separating
so much of what we do in industrial
water treatment is inside pipes and
vessels wastewater treatment is where we
often get to see the magic right before
our eyes
seeing suspended solids separate out as
pin flock can before the mystery starts
revealing itself
most of all be sure to share your
pictures on linkedin and other social
media by tagging it with hashtag iw21
and hashtag scalinguph2o this is james
mcdonald and i look forward to seeing
what you share
as you can tell i love celebrating
industrial water week with you i hope
you love every bit of industrial water
week as i do i hope you’re sharing it
with other industrial water treaters a
lot of people don’t know that we have an
entire holiday week dedicated just for
us and nation with the story that i
shared with you earlier we should
probably have a whole month because i
know you have stories just like that and
i also know that you’re going to tune in
tomorrow to celebrate our last day of
industrial water week careers friday
[Music]
nation i’ve really enjoyed sharing with
you some of the stories in my history
that taught me
how to be a better industrial water
trader well just imagine every single
week joining a group
where you can talk about technical
issues
personal issues
any type of issue that you feel you need
help with and you can get the expertise
of people that have already dealt with
that issue you can get the advice of
people that care about you and they want
you to take the next best step and when
you complete it they’re going to
celebrate that right along with you if
this sounds like something you want to
be involved with go to
scalinguph2o.com forward slash
mastermind to find out more