CAPACCIO performed pH system upgrades for this client, a global biopharmaceutical company that develops and delivers therapies for patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The client was operating a 2-stage pH neutralization system, where each stage consisted of a 3,000 gallon reaction tank with acid (93% sulfuric acid) and caustic (50% sodium hydroxide) feeds for neutralization. The tanks were located in an underground pit accessed from outside the facility. In each stage, sump pumps would transfer wastewater to the pH sensor located above ground in a weather-protected box to make maintenance easier. The pH probe was controlling the neutralization chemical pumps, which were proportional integral derivative. The system had alarms that were locally mounted but had plans to tie these alarms into the facility electronic monitoring and data collection system in order to page operators and/or security in the event of an alarm condition.
CAPACCIO conducted a system review of the existing pH neutralization system, including a review of available operations and maintenance data for the system; existing conditions plans for equipment; available design specifications and plans; discussions with wastewater treatment personnel; and compliance monitoring data for the past 12 months.
The review was conducted by a CAPACCIO registered professional engineer (PE) licensed to practice in Rhode Island. The PE developed a matrix detailing how the client’s system rates on a letter-based scale (e.g., A for excellent, B for good, C for average, etc). The matrix was presented in table format and included a letter report summarizing our approach, evaluation, as well as design and/or operational issues to be considered for improvement. The project included upgrades to the existing neutralization system to improve mixing and chemical addition followed by the design and construction of a new equalization tank to further improve neutralization capacity and provide strength equalization.