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Clarifier Case Study: Chipping away at disposal costs


Potato Chip Manufacturer


Paying a premium to the city due to the high volume of solids that were being sent to the municipal waste treatment plant.  The waste consisted of dirt and potato pieces.


We were contacted by a Consultant who worked closely with this particular client.  He was already a regular at the facility as he provided the chemistry for their waste treatment system.  Their system originally consisted of two large volume Digester Systems.  These were essentially large tanks with biologic organisms that were used to treat their existing waste from the manufacturing process.  The solids from these Digester tanks were then pumped to a belt filter and the water from the belt filter went back to the treatment tank while the solids were hauled off to the municipal treatment plant.  Although this client was within the acceptable percentage of solids range, they were charged an additional fee due to the high volume of solids loading. 

Our goal was to implement a system to help them save money.  Our lead engineer went to the site to assess the situation.  It was determined that the best course of action was to install a 300 GPM Met-Chem clarifier.  This would greatly reduce the volume of free solids that had been going to the municipal treatment facility. 


300 GPM clarifier

Met-Chem recommended a 300 GPM clarifier.  An inclined parallel plate clarifier of this size will provide a projected settling area of 1475 sq. ft. 

As is often the case with these types of systems, Met-Chem needed to pump the decanted liquids from the Digester tanks to the clarifier.  However, there was a catch.  These tanks and their existing piping were underground.  The Met-Chem installation crew drilled a 6’ hole to accommodate an 8” pipe in order to properly tie in to the Digester system plumbing.  Met-Chem installed a valve that would allow the water to bypass the existing drain and pump directly to the clarifier. 

As a result of Met-Chem’s system installation, the effluent (liquid from the clarifier, which is virtually free of solids) is then pumped back to the Digester tanks.  The settled solids from the cones of the clarifier are then filtered by a belt filter press and this dried cake, being a bio food waste, is hauled to the area farms to feed the cows.
The Met-Chem clarifier has allowed this client to reduce their free solids, thereby reducing costs for their municipal waste treatment.