At Aquafix, our eagerness for fixing every problem in the wide world of wastewater means we encounter some of the strangest situations water can offer. In this new series, Unique Applications, we look at some of our most stand out issues and most inventive solutions.

BEFORE: Heavy foam due to surfactants

AFTER: Foam free after treatment

This Illinois municipality operates a 150,000 GPD plant with a nearby tannery that was giving the city 1,000 GPD of a waste that was high in surfactants, along with lots of fats, oils, and grease.  Surfactants have a high molecular weight and a grease-like structure that make it a common culprit of foaming. The foaming this municipal plant experienced was incredibly resistant to normal treatment methods, including heavier wasting and standard defoamers.  The tannery waste was also dispersing the floc and causing cloudy effluent.  We approached the tannery, rather than the municipal plant, and developed a method using Qwik-Zyme L, Foam Buster, and bleach.  This treatment breaks down the surfactants prior to discharge from the tannery, and keeps the municipal plant foam free.

Products Used: Qwik-Zyme L and Foam Buster

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