How to monitor Phosphorus in wastewater treatment applications

Ecological harm can be caused by excess phosphorus in water supplies, which led to regulatory limits on its concentration in wastewater discharge. Nontoxic by itself, this spurs plant and algae growth in aquatic ecosystems to levels where they become invasive, starving, and crowding out other organisms, which leads to an imbalance of nutrients. This negatively impacts natural order in lakes and rivers, affecting food supply chains.

Municipal wastewater may contain 20 mg/l of total phosphorus, authorities regulate and assess facility audits based on total phosphorus present in wastewater discharge. Of the total phosphorus, orthophosphate is the reactive portion of the measurement that impacts the living world.

Monitoring orthophosphate to understand phosphorus levels

Orthophosphate is monitored throughout the process followed by total phosphorus prior to final settling tanks. Through the monitoring of total phosphorus, a plant can manage phosphate removal, either biologically or through precipitation. Total phosphorus and orthophosphate together provide a full picture of the phosphate removal process.

Endress+Hauser developed the CA80PH analyzer to efficiently, reliably, and cost-effectively keep orthophosphate levels in check. This instrument is equipped with diagnostic capabilities, an innovative dispensing system, and durability to withstand harsh operating conditions.

This transmitter platform generates diagnostics and device performance reports, and it sends its data to a central point for processing and notification via Ethernet communications. An optional web server, along with connection to a Wi-Fi network or the internet through the transmitter’s Ethernet port, provides local or remote access to data from any device capable of hosting a web browser.

CA80PH Advantages

A CA80 analyzer consumes less reagent than its competitors, further cutting operating costs—whether the PV is orthophosphate, ammonia, or another water-soluble component. CA80PH also incorporates a refrigeration system used to cool its primary reagent, further extending its useful life. Plant personnel can use this analyzer to make diagnostic and resolution decisions quickly because all relevant information is readily accessible, facilitating safe operation, and prompt incident response when necessary. While most colorimetric analyzers employ peristaltic dosing pumps, this Endress+Hauser solution uses a dispensing system of syringe pumps. Syringe pumps are more precise than peristaltic metering, and they result in less wear and tear because there are fewer mechanical components. The analyzer uses a common photometer platform, digitally programmable to operate over a range of wavelengths. One of Endress+Hauser’s key strengths is its ability to deploy numerous instrument types throughout many facility process areas. As a result, programming instruments to work together is quick, requiring just a few links between each instrument and the central control systems. All Endress+Hauser instruments are equipped with comparable diagnostic and communications capabilities, whether they measure flow, pressure, level, temperature, or another PV.