Project Synopsis

Identifying potential impacts and make mitigating recommendations to an existing wastewater treatment system (WWTS) that could be negatively effected from the change in chemicals used in the upstream process at a truck body manufacturing facility.

Project Summary

Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by a service/utility truck body manufacturer in the U.S. to support an upgrade to their existing coating pretreatment process by identifying potential impacts to the wastewater treatment system (WWTS) that could result from the change in chemicals used in the process.   Specifically, PROCESS was tasked with the following:

  • Review the chemical and process changes expected in the pretreatment system when converting from one chemical based process to another entirely different chemical
  • Generate a summary letter with recommendations for modifications and/or testing needed to mitigate any adverse impacts on the WWT system.

There was minimal measurement empirical data around the actual chemical reactions, constituent concentrations, and wastewater discharge flow rates to develop a mass and energy balance around the entire pretreatment process as part of this scope of work.   Therefore, PROCESS reviewed the differences in chemistries between the current and new processes in the coating tanks to define potential downstream impacts.  Wastewater characteristics evaluated included changes in flow rates, temperature, pH, constituent concentrations, solubilities (potential for total suspended solids, TSS, and total dissolved solids,TDS), ionic strength, and electrical conductivity.   This information was used to recommend specific testing as well as expected changes in treatment chemical usage and control setpoints for the WWTS.

Industry Type

Fiberglass Auto Body Manufacturing


Utilized Skills

  • Wastewater treatment system evaluation and design
  • Process evaluation
  • Plant data gap analysis.

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