Shutdown Planning and Coverage Up Front Can Prevent Headaches Down The Road

HeadacheMill outages can present a variety of problems in your wastewater system. Increased flows, higher BOD loading, and pH fluctuations are a few of the issues experienced by many mills during a system shutdown. This is typically followed by a period of very low loading and flow during maintenance. Both these situations create havoc with the bacterial population’s ability to assimilate and process BOD (biochemical oxygen demand). Environmental Business Specialists (EBS) provides comprehensive planning and coverage for mill outages that help ensure optimal wastewater system performance during machine shutdown, extended cold periods, and startup. During the period of high flow and BOD loading due to emptying chests and cleaning, wastewater system performance is often limited due to one or more problems. EBS takes a proactive approach to anticipating each of these potential issues based on past system performance and your shutdown plan. This allows us to have appropriate bioaugmentation cultures, nutrient and other chemical additives, and equipment on-site should they be necessary. We also provide extensive monitoring of these parameters during shutdown in order to quickly begin or adjust the addition rate of these additives or to take other corrective actions.

The two most common system problems during a shutdown and typical corrective actions are:

With the help of EBS personnel, mills have also been able to avoid problems by adjusting shutdown and dumping schedules to minimize the impact on the wastewater system.

During a mill startup, the same problems can occur as during a shutdown. In addition to the issues discussed previously, the lack of biomass activity going into a startup can be an issue. During a short or long outage, bacteria often receive insufficient BOD to maintain a bacterial population capable of adequate treatment. The addition of a BOD source prior to startup as well as bioaugmentation can minimize this problem since the addition of “food” and extra bacteria helps bring the biological segment of a wastewater system up to speed prior to initiating mill operations.

Advanced preparation in the area of biological treatment can prevent a number of problems. EBS has extensive experience in the areas of reduced/increased water flows, changes in loading in terms of quantity and type, as well as inhibitory of toxic loading components. For advice on smoothing out the swings associated with outages or maintenance downs, please feel free to contact Environmental Business Specialists at or 985-674-0660.

Learn about the microorganisms in your wastewater treatment system.