Are Wastewater Treatment Plants the Key to Coronavirus Outbreak Early Warning?

Wastewater testing, or “wastewater quality indicators” are broad descriptions for the various test methodologies to measure water quality.  These tests analyze the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of wastewater.

As countries and individual healthcare organizations work to arrest the spread of Covid-19 and to care for those who are infected, officials in some geographic locations are using wastewater testing as a possible method for identifying levels of Covid-19 in their communities.  The testing goal is to detect evidence of the Covid-19 genetic material, ribonucleic acid (RNA), in fecal matter in sewage and wastewater.

The novel virus, SARS-CoV-2, is the virus that causes Covid-19. It is known to invade the GI (gastrointestinal) track in some patients, and so the virus is extracted in their fecal matter. 

Looking at the amount of viral matter in waste water from a community could uncover the level of Covid-19 spread in the population.  This information can then be a trigger for the required mitigation initiatives and response plans, such as testing individuals, contract tracking, and quarantine. It also allows for information to be gathered on a cross section of the population, allowing for a way to monitor public health solutions for large groups.  

Figure 1

Scientists from around the world are setting up pilot programs to test waste water.  The Netherlands has successfully performed a Covid-19 test for waste water and additional programs are launching in Singapore, Zurich, Lausanne,  Milan, Rome, Australia, and in parts of the US, such as Colorado, Ohio, New York, and Wyoming.  Scientists in these regions have been able to identify the novel Coronavirus at low concentrations in waste water, pointing to an early warning systems for communities.  

In April, 2020, the scientific journal, Nature, listed that over a dozen groups around the globe were doing research analyzing waste water for Covid-19, and that evidence of the virus was already found in the United States, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Sampling and analysis of pre-treated sewage is key. The results of this analytical testing reveal the characteristics and presence of the Coronavirus in parts per million quantities, and can be laid against the population numbers of a geographic area to ascertain the existence and amount of virus existing in the wastewater.  An example of this kind of data dump is illustrated in Figure 1 (courtesy of the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority and Biobot Analytics). 

Article courtesy of Kinetrol USA.

High Pressure Steam Balancing Act in Combined-Cycle Power Plant

Steam valve

The most common design for managing high-pressure steam in combined-cycle power generation plants is cascading bypass systems. Balancing valves are used on the hot reheat line to respond to loop control requirements. The application is difficult due to high pressures, high temperatures and large sizes of the valve (high torque). The valves must close tightly and be able to throttle precisely as well. 

It is also difficult to equip these valves with pneumatic actuators. Due to the size of the valve and the design of the valve, the actuators must have a high torque output without taking up large amounts of space. Actuators also need to act quickly and eliminate hysteresis. 

Most pneumatic actuator designs simply can not meet operating and size limitations, and hydraulic actuators, with all their associated maintenance problems, are used instead.

A better solution is to apply Kinetrol vane actuators. They deliver high torque in a relatively small package, and combined with state-of-the-art valve positioners, provide the precision and response the application requires to eliminate oscillations and instability.

For more information contact:
972-447-9443

Direct Mount Boiler Damper Drives for Controlling Combustion Gases

Direct Mount Damper Drive


Direct mount damper drives are used for operating combustion gas dampers, louvers, and fan control on burners and boilers in power plants. The high performance and ruggedness of Kinetrol vane actuators provide long, service-free operation even in these very challenging installations where high vibration, heat, extreme cold, dust, and inaccessibility are common.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA. Call them at 972-447-9443 or visit their website at https://kinetrolusa.com.

Wastewater Treatment Facilities Being Solicited to Test for Virus Causing COVID-19


New studies show that SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, is shed in human waste, meaning it’s collecting in city sewers. 


Biobot, a Somerville, Massachusetts company specializing in wastewater epidemiology, is establishing protocols to test sewage for SARS-CoV-2. If successful, this data will give communities a dynamic map of the virus as it spreads to new places.

Data from sewage will enable communities to:

  1. Measure the scope of the outbreak independent from patient testing or hospital reporting, and include data on asymptomatic individuals,
  2. Provide decision support for officials determining the timing and severity of public health interventions to mitigate the overall spread of the disease,
  3. Better anticipate likely impact on hospital capacity in order to inform hospital readiness and the necessity of public health interventions,
  4. Track the effectiveness of interventions and measure the wind-down period of the outbreak, and
  5. Provide an early warning for reemergence of the coronavirus (if it does indeed have a seasonal cycle).

How it works:

  • Biobot will ship participating facilities a sampling kit and sample collection protocols. Each sampling kit includes supplies for transporting one sewage sample, an ice pack, a return shipping box and label, and instructions.
  • Wastewater facilities will collect 24-hour composite samples, and ship the samples back to Biobot laboratories.
  • Biobot will process the sewage samples to concentrate and inactivate viruses.
  • MIT Alm Lab will apply a RT-PCR protocol, adapted from published testing protocols, to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • Biobot will communicate the test results back to participating communities.

How to receive sampling kits:

Wastewater treatment facilities interested in participating should visit this site - https://www.biobot.io/covid19 - and fill out the form.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update


At present, in line with government guidelines, our service remains unchanged and we are maintaining normal delivery times across the product range. Our systems have the capability of being accessed from multiple locations so that individuals or departments can continue to operate as close to normal as possible.

Our factory production is currently fully operational, and we are in continual communication with our supply chain to ensure on-time material deliveries. We also have second sources for all key items.
The situation may change. However, we can assure you that we are closely monitoring events and will make every effort to avoid any disruption in supply. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any concerns.

Kinetrol USA
972-447-9443
https://kinetrolusa.com

New Model 60 Extends Kinetrol Reliability and Precision to Larger Class of Valves

Kinetrol Model 60
With a torque output of 356,977 lbf in (pound force inch) at 100 psi., the new Kinetrol Model 60 pneumatic rotary actuators doubles the output capability for Kinetrol actuators. Now, loyal Kinetrol users can get the same precise, long-lasting and trouble free operation for larger valve installations. Prior to the Model 60's introduction, the Kinetrol Model 30, capable of producing 168,000 lbf in, was the largest Kinetrol size available. With the doubling of output torque capability, Kinetrol can now provide better control and longer life to larger ball, butterfly and plug valves. In the past,  shorter life, less reliable scotch yoke actuators were the only option available.

Kinetrol Model 60

The Kinetrol Model 60 Standard Features Include:
  • Double-Acting and Spring-Return options
  • 2” Air ports as standard
  • Standard working temperature range from -40°F to +176°F
  • Angle of travel adjustable from 80 to 100 degrees
  • Displaced volume is 6284 in³
  • Kinetrol VLS / ULS / XLS Limit Switch Box options
  • AP Positioner options
  • ATEX Category 2 approval
  • Housing: Sand cast aluminum alloy
  • Vane & Output shaft: SG Iron, zinc plated
  • Shaft bushings: PTFE coated bronze
  • Seals: Molded polyurethane
  • Seal expenders: Stainless spring steel

For more information, visit this link.
Kinetrol USA
972-447-9443
https://kinetrolusa.com

New Rotary Actuator Catalog from Kinetrol

Kinetrol, the manufacturer of the most reliable 1/4 turn pneumatic actuator on the market today, has published a new rotary vane actuator catalog. The new catalog can be downloaded here

The catalog includes up-to-date information on:
  • Kinetrol Valve and Damper Actuators
  • Spring Return Units
  • Electro-pneumatic Positioners
  • Pneumatic Positioners
  • Limit Switches
  • Indicators
  • Solenoid Valves
  • Geared Manual Overrides
  • Failsafe Spring Return Handles
Since 1958, Kinetrol has manufactured the most comprehensive range of high performance pneumatic double-acting and spring-return rotary vane actuators. Today, Kinetrol proudly carries the well-earned and distinguished reputation for manufacturing the most reliable pneumatic actuator used in severe service and high cycle applications.

Kinetrol USA
972-447-9443
https://kinetrolusa.com

Kinetrol Pneumatic Actuators: Superior Performance in the Cement Industry


Cement is produced by means of a tightly regulated chemical combination of calcium, silicon, aluminum, iron and other components. Shell and chalk or marl combined with shale, clay, slate, furnace slag, silica sand, and iron ore are the common materials used to manufacture the cement. Once heated at high temperatures, these materials form a rock-like material that is ground to the fine powder we usually think of as cement.

The cement industry is the building block of the country's building industry. Without using cement somewhere in the architecture, few construction projects will take place.  With the operation of around 107 cement plants in 36 States, US cement production is widely dispersed.

Cement production places demanding requirements on gates, valves, and actuators. They must operate under harsh conditions, where the environment is dusty, dirty, and hot. Maintenance represents a significant part of operating costs, and as such, is a critical point of improvement.  Unplanned shutdowns caused by equipment failure can be very costly. Slow downs influence productivity and the profit contribution per hour, and cost per hour of outages in the cement industry is very high.

This video presents a strong argument as to why the Kinetrol pneumatic vane type actuator provides the cement industry with a clearly better alternative than traditional rack and pinion or motorized solutions.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA. Call them at 972-447-9443 or visit their web site at https://kinetrolusa.com.

Happy New Year from Kinetrol USA!