Silicon Valley Clean Water
The Microbiology Section is critical to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Laboratory staff monitor both the Effluent discharged to the Bay and the Recycled Water for harmful bacteria. These tests include Total Coliform, Fecal Coliform, and Enterococcus.
Also in the Microbiology Section, staff perform routine ‘counting’ and evaluation of microorganisms from aeration tanks at the treatment plant. The number and relative percentage of various protozoa are directly related to the efficiency and health of the treatment plant processes.
The majority of wastewater samples are analyzed in the Wet Chemistry Section of the Laboratory. Laboratory staff provide quick feedback (some results in four hours or less) to Plant operators, who need to monitor the levels of suspended solids, ammonia, and/or turbidity in the treated wastewater. Laboratory staff also perform long-term tests like Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), which is run for five days.
Chemical instrumentation in this area include:
A 96-hour Acute Bioassay with Oncorhynchus mykiss (Rainbow Trout) is conducted every month to monitor toxicity in the Plant Effluent as it is discharged to the Bay. The testing is performed on 100 trout aged 15-30 days. The survival rate of the fish are monitored in tanks that have the Plant discharge continuously flowing for four days. The fish are exposed to anything toxic that makes it through the treatment plant. Any low survival rates trigger an exhaustive investigative study.
SM = Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater
Silicon Valley Clean Water Laboratory 1400 Radio Road Redwood City, CA 94065 Bob Wandro, Ph.D. Laboratory Director (650) 832-6238