Development of CEN Water Standard for Automatic Waste Water Samplers
29 March 2012, News release from Sira Certification Ltd
A case study with Sira & Aquamatic Limited
Over the last 20 years, monitoring effluent discharges from a number of applications, including wastewater treatment plants, factories and laboratories has become increasingly important.
The objective driving this is for monitoring and reducing the impact on the environment of wastewater discharges from processing and manufacturing plants. This task is simple to describe but surprising difficult to carry out. In order for meaningful data to be collated, samples must be collected with the following criteria in mind:
·Samples should be collected at specific times (or flow rate)
·Samples must be taken from the right point in the channel
·Samples must be extracted using a technique which will minimise deviation of the collected effluent from that in the channel
·Individual sample volumes must accurate and HAVE to be repeatable
·Samples must be truly representative of the flow in the channel
·Samples must be stored in a manner which will minimise degradation of the total collected volume
Very quickly it was realised that, considering the above criteria, extracting samples manually was inherently flawed, samples were often missed or taken from varying points in the process / channel and regularly stored in conditions which we detrimental to the sample integrity. All of these factors lead to collected samples bearing little or no true relation to the effluent actually being discharged. As a result Automatic Wastewater Samplers were developed and introduced.
The MCERTS performance standard for automatic Waste Water Samplers was first published in 2003 and was based on previous Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations (UWWTR) E32 requirements. There are currently over 40 automatic sampler models MCERTS certified, covered by 12 certificates.
For Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS) for stack gas monitoring, the MCERTS performance standard is completely aligned with the European standard (EN15267).
However, for Waste Water Samplers, there is not an existing European Standard and the UK is leading the way. A CEN Water group has been established in the UK, comprising of a mixture of interested parties including manufacturers and process operators. With this support and a great deal of effort from CEN TC 230 WG4 the draft EN standard for CEN enquiry will soon be released.
Jeremy Smith (MD) of Aquamatic, a provider of MCERTs-certified Automatic Wastewater Samplers commented:
'Today, communications via social networking, blogging, tech forums and simple email is happening all the time. As a result comparing and benchmarking of equipment, performance criteria and services is now an everyday global activity, and International Standards are being established off the back of this. The UK Environment Agency has long been viewed as a highly respected organization which is referenced and emulated around the world. Due to Wastewater Sampling equipment being a somewhat niche product category, in many cases those companies requiring it often have limited knowledge of which equipment to purchase. This can lead to costly mistakes resulting from procuring equipment which is incapable of providing samples that meet the requirements of the governing body.
"For the last 9 years in the UK, this UK EA MCERTS standard for automatic Wastewater Samplers has provided a 'badge of confidence' for these companies which gives them assurance that they are using equipment that is acceptable under the terms of the UK Environment Agency. Most other countries are facing the same environmental challenges as the UK and in many cases they are looking to the likes of the UK Environment Agency for examples of good practices and advice. Although the MCERTS standard for automatic Wastewater Samplers is currently applicable to England & Wales only, it would make absolute sense to roll it out to a wider area.
Aligning this MCERTS standard with a pan European standard will benefit the local authorities, the Wastewater Treatment Plant operators, industrial companies and the manufacturers themselves. Of course, the ultimate beneficiary from this new initiative will be the environment itself'.
Aquamatic Limited currently offer the Aquacell range of Wastewater Samplers, which consists of 10 models, all of which are MCERTS compliant. The range is split between 3 portable units and 7 stationary units. Companies using this equipment can be confident that they have selected equipment which conforms with the high performance standards as set in the Environment Agency's MCERTS standard. They can also be sure the effluent charges levied on them by their monitoring authority will be fair and accurate. www.aquamaticsamplers.com
MCERTS is the Environment Agency's Monitoring Certification Scheme. The scheme provides a framework within which environmental measurements can be made in accordance with the Agency's quality requirements. MCERTS promotes public confidence in monitoring data and provides industry with a proven framework for choosing monitoring systems and services that meet the Environment Agency's performance requirements.
MCERTS is operated on behalf of the Environment Agency by Sira. www.siraenvironmental.com
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredits Sira to undertake certification activities which underpin MCERTS. All MCERTS standards are freely downloadable from www.mcerts.net.
For further information please email Sira Certification Ltd