The protection of municipal drinking water producers’ and industrial plants’ water intakes from oil and hydrocarbon contamination has long been a problem for users of rivers, lakes and oceans. Potential pollution sources include ships and barges with oily bilge wastewater or cargo spills, local surface traffic accidents with fuel spills, upstream industrial plants with oil leaks in cooling water, storm-water and other plant discharges. Low maintenance oil in water monitors using fluorescence-based measurement technology can provide very high sensitivity to most oil-based hydrocarbons including fuels, lubricating and hydraulic oil, crude oil, and virtually all aromatic chemicals including BTEX.

High sensitivity monitors such as the Turner Designs Hydrocarbon Instruments’ TD-4100 and TD-1000C series provide the earliest warning to contamination on the market today. In most applications, detection limit is well below 500ppb and some as low as 20ppb depending on the organic background of the water source.

The TD-4100 was first applied to river pollution monitoring in Austria 15 years ago by sensing groundwater from monitoring wells under the influence of the Danube along its banks in Austria. The TD-4100s were set to alarm at 20ppb. Their viability was proven by detecting river spills in the first weeks of operation. Since then, more than 150 systems have been installed to protect major international municipal seawater desalination plants, power plant cooling water intake and discharge systems, and more recently, water intakes for multiple municipalities in Michigan, US, under grants from the Department of Homeland Security.

In Michigan, the TD-4100 is set up to shut down the intake pumps at the municipal water plants if hydrocarbons are detected. The TD-4100 was chosen for its high benefit to cost value, operation and maintenance simplicity and lack of interference from silt, suspended solids and natural organic substances. It and its sister monitors are designed for maximum sensitivity to hydrocarbons in the presence of high levels of what would be interference to other technologies.

Turner Designs Hydrocarbon Instruments’ sole business is oil in water monitoring with a complete line of instruments including continuous on-line monitors (both bench top and hand held) for all applications, from heavy-duty offshore oil production to refining and petrochemical to heavy industrial to simple drinking water intake protection. We are an ISO 9000:2001 accredited company.

For more information please contact Turner Designs Hydrocarbon Instruments.