Articles | Volume 10, issue 2
Research article
07 Aug 2017
Research article |  | 07 Aug 2017

Online total organic carbon (TOC) monitoring for water and wastewater treatment plants processes and operations optimization

Céline Assmann, Amanda Scott, and Dondra Biller

Abstract. Organic measurements, such as biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) were developed decades ago in order to measure organics in water. Today, these time-consuming measurements are still used as parameters to check the water treatment quality; however, the time required to generate a result, ranging from hours to days, does not allow COD or BOD to be useful process control parameters – see (1) Standard Method 5210 B; 5-day BOD Test, 1997, and (2) ASTM D1252; COD Test, 2012. Online organic carbon monitoring allows for effective process control because results are generated every few minutes. Though it does not replace BOD or COD measurements still required for compliance reporting, it allows for smart, data-driven and rapid decision-making to improve process control and optimization or meet compliances. Thanks to the smart interpretation of generated data and the capability to now take real-time actions, municipal drinking water and wastewater treatment facility operators can positively impact their OPEX (operational expenditure) efficiencies and their capabilities to meet regulatory requirements. This paper describes how three municipal wastewater and drinking water plants gained process insights, and determined optimization opportunities thanks to the implementation of online total organic carbon (TOC) monitoring.

Short summary
TOC (total organics carbon) analysis, as a laboratory and online technology, offers new perspectives to organic measurements in waters and waste water, supplementing regulatory oxygen demand tests. TOC monitoring, implemented as a tool to make informative and rapid treatment decisions, becomes a useful process control parameter. This paper discusses the various technologies available and details how three municipal plants gained insights into their processes and saved on their spending with TOC.