The water industry faces challenges of toxic and flammable gases continuously in daily operation. It is necessary to monitor gas level at all stage of the related process for safe operation. Wastewater includes liquid waste of residences, businesses, run-off surface water and storm-water. It is necessary to apply treatment before releasing it to the water system as it includes dangerous toxic and corrosive substances.
Treatment process includes several stages to remove solids, filter pollutants and purify water. The waste water must collected in pools, settle in sedimentation tanks and apply chemicals to purify. All these processes generates toxic and flammable gas releases which all are dangerous for human and the environment. Most of the plants include pump stations, service areas, lift stations, wet or dry wells which are all built in enclosed areas that dangerous gases easily accumulate in there. The most important gases released in these areas are:
Hydrogen Sulfide : A highly toxic gas produced around large holding tanks or settling basins. Detectors must be located to monitor these areas to provide safety for workers.
Methane: Methane is an explosive gas produced primarily in the initial stages of decomposition. It does not have color or smell and due to its low density it will accumulate in pockets near the ceiling of enclosed areas such as holding tanks and settling basins.
Oxygen: Treatment process includes high number of chemical and organic processes that may lower the oxygen level and threat work safety. All closed areas must be monitored with oxygen detectors to make sure workers are safe.
Purifying Chemicals: Chemicals such as chlorine, ozone and ammonia are used in the decontamination of water in wastewater and water purification plants. As a result of these processes the environment must be monitored for chlorine, ozone, sulfur dioxide and ammonia depending of the process details.
Biogas production plants are also related to wastewater process as they are using sludge from wastewater. The process works by heating sewage sludge and encouraging anaerobic digestion. This digestion creates biogas, which is approximately 65% vol methane and also hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide. Hence it is necessary to monitor flammable, toxic and asphyxiant gas levels in this plants.
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