Lab Science News - Science, chemistry and environmental news from laboratory experts

Archive for July, 2004

Biomass Analysis – and the Lagoon Winterization Program™

Sunday, July 4th, 2004

In support of the Pulp and Paper Industry, Columbia Analytical Services (CAS) and Advanced Biological Services, Inc. (ABS) provide expanded and improved options for wastewater treatment system operators. Chemical analysis alone is not always enough to properly manage a wastewater treatment system and avoid permit violations. Obtaining regular and detailed biological information can be the key to a better understanding and management of system performance, while avoiding costly problems. Biological problems can manifest as poor settleability from filamentous bulking, as Zoogloeal bulking, or as high turbidity in the final effluent. These problems could be due to dispersed floc structure related to loading problems or poor treatment results due to toxicity issues. by Dr. Rob Whiteman, Guest Writer, Advanced Biological Services, Inc.

Biomass analysis can be defined as evaluation of the overall health of the biology of a wastewater treatment system. This involves examining floc structure, higher life forms (HLFs), the degree of undesirable microbes (such as filamentous types or Zoogloea), as well as the viability and diversity of the bacteria (the workhorse of the system). Sometimes operators carry out microscopic analyses, focusing solely on HLFs. While HLFs are indicators of health, viable counts and evaluation of ALL of the biological data (including floc structure, degree of filamentous bacteria, presence or absence of Zoogloea as well as HLFs) determine true treatment system health. Use of biomass analysis can determine biological problems early on.

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Emerging Chemicals of Concern for the Environment by SPE coupled with HPLC and HPLC/MS/MS Detection

Sunday, July 4th, 2004

Emerging Chemicals of Concern for the Environment by SPE coupled with HPLC and HPLC/MS/MS DetectionThe USGS has identified 95 organic wastewater contaminants (OWC’s) of concern (Kolpin et al. 2002). In this study, 80 percent of streams sampled contained measurable levels of OWC’s. This list consists of many new classes of organic compounds not amenable to the more common EPA GC and GC/MS standard analytical methods. These new classes of compounds include veterinary and human antibiotics, human drugs, industrial and household hazardous wastewater and multiple classes of hormones, which are generally larger and less volatile than analytes found on current EPA method lists. Reversed phase HPLC analysis with a polar mobile phase is particularly suitable to analyzing large molecules that exhibit low volatility. HPLC methods have been developed by Columbia Analytical Services in Kelso for the analysis of a wide range of these compounds utilizing UV and fluorescence detectors. Methods already developed include a number of estrogens and caffeine and its metabolites.

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Treatability Study for Heavy Metal Removal from Mine Water

Sunday, July 4th, 2004


Introduction: Historical mining practices in the Coeur d’Alene River Basin (Idaho) have resulted in heavy metal contamination of soil, sediment, surface water, and groundwater. Canyon Creek, located in the upper basin, has elevated levels of dissolved zinc (average concentration ~ 3,000 μg/L), dissolved cadmium (average concentration ~ 22 μg/ L), and total lead (average concentration ~ 174 μg/L). Heavy metal loading near the mouth of Canyon Creek is influenced by surface water/groundwater interactions. Dissolved zinc concentrations in the groundwater have been detected in the 100,000 μg/L range while dissolved cadmium and lead have been detected in the hundreds to thousands μg/L ranges, respectively.

EPA’s consultant, URS Corporation (URS), developed a multi-phase treatability study to obtain quantitative information on a treatment process to effectively remove metals from the water of Canyon Creek. The treatment process incorporated different combinations of pH adjustment, chemical coagulation and coprecipitation, polymer flocculent additions, and additions of ballasted micro-sand to improve sludge settling. The results of the study will be used to help evaluate potential treatment technologies for surface water and/or groundwater at Canyon Creek. These data will also be used to help develop the pilotscale treatability study for Phase II of the study.

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