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Management and Control of Industrial Effluents Discharged to Public Sewers: A Case Study

Authors: Freeman Ntuli


An overview of the important aspects of managing and controlling industrial effluent discharges to public sewers namely sampling, characterization, quantification and legislative controls has been presented. The findings have been validated by means of a case study covering three industrial sectors namely, tanning, textile finishing and food processing industries. Industrial effluents discharges were found to be best monitored by systematic and automatic sampling and quantified using water meter readings corrected for evaporative and consumptive losses. Based on the treatment processes employed in the public owned treatment works and the chemical oxygen demand and biochemical oxygen demand levels obtained, the effluent from all the three industrial sectors studied were found to lie in the toxic zone. Thus, physico-chemical treatment of these effluents is required to bring them into the biodegradable zone. KL values (quoted to base e) were greater than 0.50 day-1 compared to 0.39 day-1 for typical municipality wastewater.

Keywords: biodegradability, industrial effluent, pollution control, public sewers

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