By Dr. George Jarvis, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Water Analysis Instruments
Maintaining the quality of wastewater (WW) effluent is more important than ever before, as municipalities deal with aging treatment systems, budget restrictions, and evolving compliance standards. As a result, water professionals need accurate and efficient tools to check water safety in the lab and in the field to determine levels of chemicals such as sodium, chloride, calcium, fluoride and ammonia, as well as pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen.
Many of the most common methods for chemical determination involve sample collection, storage, preparation extraction, concentration, and subsequent laboratory analysis. All of these steps are labor-intensive and can create delays in compliance or the implementation of treatment options. In contrast, one of the most cost-effective ways for identifying and managing complex samples in wastewater is optical analysis. Some of the benefits of optical methods are on-site or portable analysis, the availability of easy-to-use kits that contain all necessary materials, and high accuracy and reliability. As an added bonus, several optical methods are approved by the EPA for ensuring compliance.