Appleton’s analytical laboratory at the wastewater treatment plant functions in support capacity for many city operations and programs. The laboratory staff primarily conducts a full range of wet-chemistry analyses on the various stages of wastewater treatment within the plant.
Plant processes are constantly monitored by integrated computer systems which rely on data input from laboratory personnel. The analytical results verify process settings and actions, allowing the operations staff to make decisions on how to best treat the wastewater. One of the most critical aspects of the laboratory is to monitor the full range of compliance parameters under the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ water quality standards. In addition to the more than 50 daily checks conducted for the treatment plant operations, the laboratory staff also supports both the Pretreatment and Biosolids Programs. Industrial compliance monitoring required by this program relies on the sampling efforts of the staff and the analytical results they obtain from industrial dischargers to determine the program’s effectiveness.
With advancements in technology and high quality instrumentation available to the laboratory staff, it is possible to monitor pollutant at parts per billion. Stringent water quality standards and discharge permit limits require this level of detection to assure adequate wastewater treatment prior to discharge into the Fox River and ultimately, the Great Lakes.
Services of the wastewater treatment plant laboratory are further utilized by city of Appleton Water Distribution and Water Filtration Plant. Biological testing also supports the sanitation monitoring done by the city of Appleton Health Department in conjunction with its facilities inspection program.