In a world full of automated processes, it is to be expected that the water industry will be placing increasing reliance on data produced by continuous analysis equipment. Automation of the critical function of monitoring water quality removes the risk of human error in analysing water samples and enables corrective action to be taken quickly.

As Environment Agency standards become increasingly stringent, it is vital that analysers are maintained to the highest possible levels. Should a breach of water quality standards occur then an investigation would require the operator concerned to prove that any monitoring and measuring equipment was correctly maintained.

Belmar has recently been awarded a contract by Quaker Chemicals in Detroit to supply a wastewater quality monitoring system using analysis equipment by Metrohm UK for the US Steel Corporation.

It is important for every company which has automated any monitoring functions to develop and follow an effective maintenance strategy for their equipment. This should include:

  1. Preventative maintenance - do not rely solely on signals or alarms from equipment to decide when maintenance work is required. Regular maintenance routines can be developed by looking at past issues which have arisen. Plan to avoid these recurring.
  2. Reagents - keep a close eye on reagent levels. Once a company understands the rate of reagent consumption then replenishment can be planned accordingly. Bear in mind shelf lives when deciding what stock level to carry. Changes in consumption rate could be indicative of other problems such as a leaking or blocked pipe.
  3. Calibration - always make sure that your analyser is properly calibrated. The failure of a routine calibration can indicate other issues within the analyser such as leaking seals of the contamination of the reference standard.
  4. Check sensors regularly - sensors are on the front line of any monitoring system and will be susceptible to any adverse conditions. Problems such as fouling or abrasion can reduce accuracy and effectiveness.
  5. Critical spares - ensure that essential spare parts are readily available and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the replacement of key components.
  6. Capital Expenditure - nothing lasts forever. Be mindful of the risk of spare parts becoming harder to source for older equipment. Consider upgrades or replacements to ensure that the functionality of key equipment is ensured.

Belmar Technologies offer tailored maintenance services to industry as well as innovating with a wide range of technologies to design automated wastewater treatment systems. Call us to discuss your requirements on +44 (0) 1327 586 008 or email mail@belmartechnologies.co.uk.