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Running Head: THE CONSTITUENTS OF WASTEWATER

Laboratory Report on the Constituents of Wastewater


Group Members: Brandeice Barrett, Sade Campbell
Submitted on: October 8, 2016
University of Technology, Jamaica

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Abstract
This report presents the analysis of the wastewater present at the University of Technology,
Jamaica base on the standards established by the National Environment Protection Agency
(NEPA). The three samples that were tested were taken from two locations on the campus
using the grab and composite sampling methods. These samples then underwent several
laboratory tests and the results compared to that of the agency.
The parameters that were analysed stemmed from four categories which the act outlines.
These categories included: Organics (Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)), the solids (Total
Suspended Solids (TSS), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Total Solids (TS)), the physical
properties (turbidity, pH and temperature) and the biological components (Total coliforms
and faecal coliforms).
The wastewater was collected from two sites on the university campus, Lilllians and
Shellys. A Sigma Max 900 portable sample was used to collect grab and composite samples
from these two locations. It was found that tested constituents of the wastewater did not meet
the standards as established by NEPA. Therefore the raw sewage will need to be treated
before it is at the standard to be discharged into a Class I water body.

LAB 1 WASTEWATER CONSTITUENTS

Table of Contents

ABSTRACT .......................................................................................................................2
Introduction.........................................................................................................................4
Methodology ......................................................................................................................5
Apparatus...6
Results... 7
Sample Calculations.......9
Discussions................................................................................................................10
Conclusions and Recommendation............................... ....................................................12
References .........................................................................................................................14

LAB 1 WASTEWATER CONSTITUENTS

Introduction
Wastewater is water that has been contaminated due to domestic, industrial or a
combination of both activities. And it is this wastewater which is being treated and discharged
into rivers, lakes and other natural water bodies. Therefore it is increasingly vital that the
components be known in order to ensure the management of the wastewater does not have a
negative impact on the environment. This can be achieved from the analysis of the
wastewater constituents, which can be generally categorized as the physical, chemical and
biological characteristics.
The physical characteristics are the physical properties of the wastewater such as the
total suspended solids (TSS). The chemical characteristics are separated into organic and
inorganic, examples of these include the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), free chlorine,
phosphates and nitrates. Biological characteristics refer to the microorganisms present in the
wastewater such as coliform organisms (Pearlman, 2016).
The Total Suspended Solids (TSS) are particles that are larger than 2 microns found in
the water column. Anything smaller than 2 microns) is considered a dissolved solid. The
BOD refers to the amount of oxygen that would be consumed if all the organics in one litre of
water were oxidized by bacteria and protozoa over a 5 day period (Pearlman, 2016)
Coliform bacteria originates as organisms in soil or vegetation and in the intestinal
tract of warm-blooded animals (fecal coliform). This group of bacteria has long been an
indicator of water contamination and possible presence of intestinal parasites and pathogens.
Coliform bacteria are relatively simple to identify, are present in much larger numbers than
more dangerous pathogens, and react to the natural environment and treatment processes
similarly to pathogens. By observing coliform bacteria, the increase or decrease of many
pathogenic bacteria can be estimated (Treyens, 2009).

LAB 1 WASTEWATER CONSTITUENTS

Methodology
The first stage of the analysis was the collection of the sample using the grab method
from the designated locations of Shellys and Lillians. The Sigma Max 900 was used to
collect individual samples and a composite sample. Followed by the laboratory testing which
including: solids, physical properties, organics and biological tests.
The physical properties test involved testing the turbidity, temperature and pH of the sample.
Turbidity was carried out by p poring a small amount of the sample into a crucible which was
cleaned with oil before inserting it into the turbidity analyser and reading recorded. Both the
pH and the Temperature was obtained by pouring the sample into the cap of the pH meter and
replacing the pH meter into the cap. The sample was allow to sit for 5nmins in order for the
reading to stabilize.
The organic component of the sample, which is the Biochemical Oxygen Demand, was
determined by the use of the DO Method. The BOD test firstly involved preparing the
samples and pipetting 2ml of each into 300mL BOD bottles. The bottles were filled with
dilution water, stoppered and inverted couple times to mix efficiently. A probe is afterwards
used to measure the dissolved concentration. The sample is further placed in an incubator at a
temperature of 20C for 5 days where it is again measured for the remaining dissolved
oxygen using the same probe.
Finally the Total and Faecal Coliform Bacteria was carried out by use of the Multiple-Tube
Technique (MPN). The faecal coliform involved the inoculation of the sample into a broth of
concentration (1:1, 1:10 or 1:100), that produced air bubbles was transferred into the BG
broth in 15 test tubes. These test tubes were placed in the incubator for 48 hours. After the
elapse of the time, the test tubes containing air bubbles were recorded and compared to a
statistic chart. The Total faecal coliform was carried out by transferring the bacteria from
these test tubes of BG to test tubes containing EC broth with the use of a sterile rod (using
fire to sterilize). The new set of test tubes was returned to the incubator for an additional 24
hours, following which the results were collected as previously done with the total coliform.
The solids test consisted of (Total Dissolved TDS, TSS and TS was obtained through
gravimetric filtration and oven drying. 100 ml of the sample was filtered using a vacuum
funnel, from which the residue and filtrate was collected and place in the oven until only
solid components remained on the filter paper and in the beaker. The weight obtained and
recorded.

LAB 1 WASTEWATER CONSTITUENTS

Apparatus
Pipette

pH probe

Incubator

Distilled Water

Broth Tubes

Sample cells

Tube Racks

Beakers

Turbidity meter

Measuring cylinders

BOD bottle (300 mL) Sample bottles

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Results and Observation


Table 1. showing the measured parameters from the analysis of wastewater from two
different locations and their composite
Site Locations
Parameter

SHELLYS

LILLIANS

COMPOSITE(

( Sample 1)

(Sample 2)

Sample 3)

Temperature

21oC

33.6oC

28.6oC

pH

7.1

6.7

6.9

Turbidity

48.6 NTU

518 NTU

246 NTU

Total Solids

2675 mg/L

1730 mg/L

5081 mg/L

Total Suspended Solids

781 mg/L

121mg/L

1575 mg/L

Total Dissolved Solids

1894 mg/L

1609mg/L

3506 mg/L

Biological Oxygen Demand

1032 mg/L

714 mg/L

363 mg/L

Total coliform

2400MPN/100ml

16000MPN/

16000MPN/

100ml

100ml

16000MPN/

16000MPN/

100ml

100ml

faecal coliform

1300MPN/100ml

Table 2. Showing the limits of the effluent as outlined by NEPA

LAB 1 WASTEWATER CONSTITUENTS

Parameters

mg/L

Chemical Oxygen Demand

100

Biological Oxygen Demand

20

Total and fecal coliform

200

Nitrate

10

Phosphate

Free Chlorine at 530nm/80 chlorine

1.5

Suspended Solids

20

pH

Sample Calculations

Total faecal coliform for Sample 2


EC Broth

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1ml

0.1ml

0.01ml

5/5

5/5

5/5

MPN value (from table) x ______10_______ = MPN/100 mL


(Largest volume tested in dilution series used for MPN determination)
1600 x 10 = 16000 MPN/100 mL
1

BOD for Sample 2


BOD =DO1-DO2=8.52 mg/L 3.76 mg/L
= 4.76 mg/L
Dilution factor = 300 mL of mixture (dilution water+sample water) / 2ml of sample
=150
BOD =(DO1-DO2) * Dilution factor per 300 ml
4.76 mg/L *150= 714 mg/L

Discussion
This discussion will seek to examine the results from the experiments by comparing
them to that of the NEPA standards. The sample of wastewater used, represents effluent
collected at the University of Technology (Shellys and Lillians) using the grab and
composite method of collection. Various test were carried out on different volumes of

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effluent. The following test were done to determine the different constituents of the effluent
waste water ,turbidity, temperature, pH, total and faecal coliform, solids, and BOD. It is
important to note that these constituents do no act independently of each other but rather
contributes to each other. It is also important that based on the comparison of the sewage to
that of Nepas parameters that the quality of the raw sewage be assessed and recommendation
made to get the effluent up to a suitable standard.
For the physical constituent of the wastewater, the turbidity and TSS are the most
visible indicators of water quality. In terms of water quality, high levels of total suspended
solids will increase the temperature of the water and decrease dissolved oxygen (DO) levels.
This is because suspended particles absorb more heat from solar radiation than the water
molecules will. This heat is then transferred to the surrounding water by conduction. Warmer
water cannot hold as much dissolved oxygen as colder water, so DO levels will drop
(Perlman, 2016). This is observed with the samples 2 and 3, having a TSS of 121mg/L and
1575mg/L respectively and corresponding BOD of 714 mg/L and 363 mg/L. Demonstrating
that the sample with greater TSS reading yielded a lesser BOD reading. The same trend was
not observed in sample 1 with a TSS reading of 781 mg/L and BOD of 1032 mg/L. According
to the effluent parameter standards of NEPA the accepted amount of TSS should be less than
20 mg/L and therefore all samples had TSS levels far greater than the standard. The TDS of
sample 1 was 1894 mg/L, sample 2 was 1609 mg/L and sample 3 was 3506 mg/L.
Temperature is an important factor in the suitability of the Class I water for use as a habitat as
it affects aquatic organisms in a variety of ways. The body temperature of most aquatic
organisms is the same as the surrounding water and fluctuates with the water temperature.
Most aquatic organisms are adapted to live in a narrow temperature range and they die when
the temperature becomes too low or too high (Tchobanoglous, Burton, & Stensel, 2003). The
temperature of the effluent was found to be 210C, 330C and 28.60C.
. The pH of the effluent or waste water is determining factor in the type of treatment
to be given. In waste water treatment, pH is an important measure for the coagulation process
which is turbidity removal, disinfection, water softening and corrosion control (Mandal,
2014). It is important to test the pH of wastewater because Most aquatic organisms have a
narrow pH tolerance range of 6 9 (NEPA). Acidic waters can cause toxic heavy metals to be
released into the water. Acid rain and mining operations can lower the pH of water bodies.

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Therefore the pH readings (7.1, 6.7 and 6.9) that were obtained are acceptable based on the
standard.
It is conventional to use BOD to measure of the strength of effluent released from
conventional sewage treatment plants to surface waters or streams. This is because sewage
high in BOD can deplete oxygen in receiving waters, causing fish kills and ecosystem
changes (Pearlman, 2016). According to NEPA the effluent discharge treatment standard for
BOD has been set at 20 mg BOD/L (i.e. 20 mg of O2 are consumed per litre of water over 5
days to break down the waste). Most aquatic organisms need oxygen to survive. Dissolved
oxygen is the oxygen present in water available to aquatic organisms. The BOD levels
recorder for the samples were 1032 mg/L, 714 mg/L and 363 mg/L, which are far greater than
the established standard.
The presence of faecal coliform bacteria in aquatic environments indicates that the
water has been contaminated with the faecal material of man or other animals. The presence
of faecal contamination is an indicator that a potential health risk exists for individuals
exposed to this water. Hence to prevent a possible widespread disease it is important to test
the effluent for bacteria through the Total and faecal coliform tests. The total coliform for the
samples 1, 2 and 3 were 2400 MPN, 16000 MPN and 16000 MPN respectively and that of
the faecal coliform were 1300 MPN, 16000 MPN and 16000 MPN. However, the standard is
1000MPN and therefore the effluent contains enormously large amounts of bacteria relative
to the standard.
The sampling method utilized for the collection of samples 1 and 2 was grab and that
of sample 3 was composite (accumulation of effluent from the two sources). Grab sample as
the name suggest is a simple scoops of the wastewater being sampled and are appropriate
where conditions are constant or well mixed and slow to change. On the other hand
composite samples are either amalgamated (from one source) or made up of smaller sub
samples. The composite sampling is further divided into two groups, time proportional and
flow proportional composite. For the testing of the effluent carried out in the laboratory
specific constituents were analysed for a particular moment of time, hence the grab sampling
method was the most suitable choice.
Recommendation
In order to reduce the high levels of the various constituents (dissolved solids and
organic/inorganic compounds) within the raw sewage, it is necessary for the wastewater to

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undergo preliminary, primary, secondary and tertiary treatment. The samples that were tested
are of a low quality because the physical, organic and biochemical components are high.
Below is a process flow diagram of the suggested method to get the raw sewage to a high
quality with low quantities of the constituents.
|

Raw
Sewage

Preliminary

Scree
n

Grit
Cham
ber

Primary

Primary
sedimentation
tank

|
Aerati
on
tank

Secondary
Secondary
Sedimentation
tank

RECYCLED SLUDGE

TERTIAR
Y FINAL
EFFLUE

Gas (CH4, CO2)

SECONDARY SLUDGE
SLUDGE
DIGESTION
TANK

Supernatant

SLUDGE
DISPOS
AL

Figure1. Process Block Diagram of the Treatment of Raw Sewage

The preliminary treatment involves the removal of floating materials (leaves, papers, rags)
and inorganic solids (sand, grit), besides oily substances (fats, oils, greases) that are able to
settle. Primary treatment is aimed at the removal of fine suspended organic solids that cannot
be removed in the preliminary treatment. Primary treatment basically involves the process of
sedimentation or settling.
Biological or secondary treatment of sewage is required for the removal of dissolved and fine
colloidal organic matter. This process involves the use of microorganisms such as bacteria,
algae, fungi, protozoa, or nematodes that decompose the unstable organic matter to stable
inorganic forms
Following the conventional primary and secondary treatments, tertiary treatment or advanced
treatment is sometimes needed for the removal of suspended and dissolved substances. In

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general, the effluent of the sewage obtained after secondary treatment can be conveniently
disposed without causing any nuisance (Kumar, 2015)

Conclusion
The analysis that was carried out on the sample of wastewater may have not been a true
representation due to instrumental error as the sample collector had malfunctioned and
samples were then collected using a plastic bottle. With regards to the sample of wastewater
collected and the great inconsistencies seen in the results compared to that of the NEPA, it
was be noted the wastewater was untreated and in order to get it to the outlined parameters
treatment is necessary. The treatment requirements is from the preliminary stage through to
the tertiary so as to make the water be safe for discharge into Class I water bodies.

References

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Fundamentals of Environmental Measurements.(n.d).Retrieved from


http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/waterquality/turbidity-total-suspended-solids-water-clarity/#Turbid1
Kumar, P. (2015). Processes of Waste Water Treatment: 4 Process (With Diagram). Retrieved
October 3, 2016, from http://www.biologydiscussion.com/waste-management/wastewater-treatment/processes-of-waste-water-treatment-4-process-with-diagram/10989
Oram, P. M. (n.d.). Total coliform bacteria are a collection of relatively harmless
microorganisms that live in large numbers in the intestines of man and warm- and
cold-blooded animals. Retrieved October 01, 2016, from http://www.waterresearch.net/index.php/e-coli-in-water
Perlman, U. H. (2016) Water properties: Dissolved oxygen. Retrieved October 08, 2016, from
http://water.usgs.gov/edu/dissolvedoxygen.html
Treyens C.(2009).Bacteria and Private Wells; Information Every Well Owner Should Know.
Retrieved from
http://www.nesc.wvu.edu/pdf/dw/publications/ontap/magazine/OTWI09_features/Bac
teriaAndPrivateWells.pdf
Tchobanoglous G, Burton F. L. and Stensel H. D.(2003). Wastewater Engineering: Treatment
and Reuse. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.jm/books?id=L1MAXTAkLQC&dq=wastewater+treatment+metcalf&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAGoVCh
MIsOjK0PmPyAIVgSceCh1Yiw66