Ultrasonic monitoring bonus

Cities and towns worldwide are cracking down on commercial establishments which are dumping tons of grease annually into sewer lines. In many communities, the number one cause of sewer overflows is grease blockages.

Manufacturer of electronic monitoring equipment for grease traps and septic

tanks, Worldstone Inc, in conjunction with engineers GREASEwatchTM, has developed

microprocessor-based ultrasonic technology which continuously monitors the grease,

sludge, liquid level, and temperature in tanks. An ultrasonic transducer is

mounted on a pipe suspended in the middle of the effluent (normally at the outlet

end of the tank). The acoustic beams in the transducer monitor to the top of

the sludge, to the bottom of the grease, and to the liquid level in the pipe

mounted in the tank.

At any time, users can push a button to find out how close the tank is to its

next pumping. Programmable settings allow the service provider or the regulator

to set when the tank should be pumped based on the desired and actual amount

of solids. A buzzer is triggered when the critical solids and liquid levels

are exceeded. The system logs up to 20 years of data providing a historical

record of changes to document tank performance and routine maintenance.

Lessons from the USA

In rural areas which rely on septic systems and in cities with sewers, regulators

are responsible for the management of the grease problem. Their primary challenge

is to develop programs that will ensure and document compliance with codes.

Proposed solutions include mandatory pumping cycles, manual inspections, and

fines for offenders. The most promising incorporate new tank monitoring systems

and many US cities are considering re-writing their codes to advocate new automatic

monitoring technology.

But how frequently should tanks be inspected and pumped? Manual inspections

are costly and time consuming not to mention, messy, noxious, and in and in

many cases, dangerous. They are also difficult to manage consistently due to

shortage of inspectors and the growing number of facilities that must be checked.

Service providers who may not properly pump tanks and traps are another part

of the problem. In some instances, grease and solids have actually been introduced

into tanks by pumpers looking to cut costs and disposal who may just skim top

grease and leave bottom solids.

However, there are also those facilities which simply don’t service their tanks

and traps or do not comply with best waste

disposal practices which are a necessary part of controlling the accumulation

of grease and sludge. For cost-effective compliance, new solutions will incorporate

continuous monitoring and tracking at the tank level, and easy access to real-time


With ongoing tank monitoring, regulators have a powerful tool to keep people

compliant and prevent overflows at less cost. Monitoring is also a tool for

business owners to ensure service providers are properly managing their tank

or trap.

For service providers, the monitoring solution enhances the value and profitability

of service contracts. Pumping is done when it is needed. Less pumping for the

existing customer base frees up pump trucks and personnel to expand the business

without additional expense.

For customers who always wait too long to pump, monitoring is proof that they

should pump more often. This makes the service provider’s job easier and increases

service revenue.

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