Operation and Maintenance (O&M) at a Publicly Owned Treatment Work (POTW) is a constant battle against the forces of time and nature. The contaminants being treated can deteriorate reinforced concrete while turbulent flows and suspended solids can erode steel structures. This highlights the need for a regular wastewater treatment plant maintenance schedule that can restore treatment plant assets and recommend upgrades. But how can plant managers and superintendents know their maintenance plan is making the most effective use of resources and how should they measure its impact?
Below, we look into the benefits of scheduled wastewater treatment plant maintenance and how wastewater engineering experts can bring in new software, better data collection and innovative solutions to optimize your wastewater treatment plant maintenance plan.
All wastewater treatment plants have a program in place that goes beyond crisis response and corrective maintenance. However, even with a plan, regular maintenance can be a challenge because the plant must always comply with regulatory effluent limits. Facilities must find ways to perform maintenance without interrupting plant operations.
To establish a successful wastewater treatment plant maintenance schedule, facilities need to assess their preventive maintenance regularly. Many also choose to embrace predictive maintenance so they can get the most out of their equipment.
Preventive maintenance works to minimize the risk that critical equipment, such as air release valves, aeration equipment, lift stations and headworks structures, will fail. Preventative maintenance can include:
Predictive maintenance goes beyond standard prevention. To perform predictive maintenance, facilities collect data to determine equipment condition and prioritize repairs. Predictive maintenance data can come from:
However, software is what truly makes predictive maintenance possible. Computer maintenance management systems store plant data and make it easy to format it properly for analysis. Much equipment also has built-in data collection software. Advanced analytics programs can take this data and use it to determine the best time to perform maintenance tasks. This makes it easier for wastewater treatment plants to prioritize and schedule repairs.
A wastewater treatment plant has a complex and interconnected network of equipment. POTWs typically operate with limited staff whose other duties leave little time for intensive data collection or puzzling out complex maintenance challenges. POTW facility managers and superintendents often lack the in-house expertise and equipment to optimize their wastewater treatment plant maintenance schedule cost-effectively. Outsourcing wastewater treatment plant maintenance to wastewater engineers is a feasible option to improve maintenance plans while keeping the plant up and running.
At Fehr Graham, we are a team of skilled professionals who are committed to improving wastewater treatment plant O&M across communities. Our expertise in wastewater engineering has helped POTWs address design and maintenance challenges with innovative solutions to improve the surrounding environment and the quality of life in the communities where our clients live and work.
Fehr Graham has provided POTWs with software-based preventative and predictive maintenance plans hosted by our servers. That means there is no fee for the POTW to use the software and plan. We will work with your facility and staff to develop a customized plan to ensure the equipment lasts longer, performs as designed and crises are prevented.