The National Discharge Pollutant Elimination System (NPDES)
There are a variety of application in the industrial market for water testing, with some testing requiring certification, while other tests may not require certification. For many industrial businesses, there may be a permit required to discharge any waste water back into the sewer. The National Discharge Pollutant Elimination System (NDPES) is a program under the Clean Water Act, which regulates businesses which discharge water into the sanitary sewer. The states enforce these regulations by issuing a permit for businesses that generate a waste water. The permit will address specific contaminants that are generated by the business. Depending on which contaminants are present, the business may be required to treat the water before discharging it into the sanitary sewer. Treatment is usually required for pH levels if the water is extremely acidic or alkaline. This regulation is to limit the amount of contaminants that will have to be treated by the waste water treatment plant before it may be discharged into lakes, rivers or oceans. If a facility has a discharge permit, the permit will dictate what must be tested and how often it is tested.
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Water is a precious resource, which can be costly for some businesses, so water treatment may be necessary to recycle and reuse water. This is especially true for businesses that utilize high amounts of water like car washes. Car washes are a good example for a couple of reason, first they use a significant amount of water and second the quality of the water is important to get a clean car without water spots. Some states actually require businesses like car washed, recycle a certain amount of water they use. The testing for these type of business if based upon a couple of factors. First factor is what type of water is being recycled, in the case of car washes, is it the water used in washing vehicles. This water would contain foaming agents from soaps that are used as well as oil and grease from the cars. The water used to wash cars should be very clean so as to not leave water spots, so some car washes will use ion exchange to soften water and reverse osmosis to further purify water, to reduce spotting. In order to properly size equipment, testing is needed. This is just one example of a business that utilizes water treatment, which would require treatment.
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