Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 565–577 | Cite as

Failure Analysis of an Effluent Treatment Plant in an Oral Care Industry

  • I. A. Oke
  • K. T. Oladepo
  • N. O. Olarinoye
  • M. A. Asani
  • O. F. Olaobaju


Reports of environmental pollution by industries worldwide call for an urgent need to assess wastewater treatment facilities in various industries. This study presents an assessment of a wastewater treatment plant in an oral care (toothpaste) industry. The industry was visited, facilities for wastewater treatment were assessed (based only on efficacy to remove selected environmental and human’s health-related pollutants) and measurement of essential design parameters and facility characteristics were conducted. The study revealed that the averages of flow rate, biochemical oxygen demand at 5 days (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), suspended solids (SS), iron concentration, and total solids (TS) in the influent wastewater into the plant were 4.96 ± 0.6 m3/d; 90 ± 5 mg/L; 224 ± 8 mg/L; 1266.78 ± 10.24 mg/L; 0.31 ± 0.11 mg/L, and 2198.65 ± 20.44 mg/L, respectively. Individual efficacies were as follows: 0.49, 0.28, and 0.38% for SS, TS, and calcium, respectively. The overall efficacy of the wastewater treatment facility was found to be 0.020% which was significantly lower than expected. This indicates that no treatment was conducted on the wastewater and that the wastewater is being discharged into the environment essentially untreated. Equalization time (t eq) was found to be 2.0 h with equivalent equalized BOD5 concentration of 90 ± 5 mg/L, while expected volume for the equalization tank is 1.5 m3. It was concluded that failure (lower overall efficacy) of the system can be attributed to lack of an equalization tank, inadequate treatment processes, and refusal to apply standardized engineering code and practices. Although such conditions are rare in developed nations, these results demonstrate the problems in pollution control in developing communities.


Environmental pollution Oral care Health-related pollutants Efficacy Standardized engineering code 



Federal Environmental Protection Agency


Great Lake Upper Mississippi River Board of State Sanitary Engineers


Manual of Practice number 8

List of Symbols


Mass density of the fluid, kg/m3 = ρ l


Angle of the rack with horizontal, °


Bar shape factor


Dynamic viscosity of the fluid, N.s/m2

Δt and t

Time increment and time, respectively, d


Time interval over which samples were composite, h


Fine screen effective submerged open area, m2


Biochemical oxygen demand at 5 days, mg/L


Minimum clear spacing of bars, m


Basin concentration after addition of flow for time Δt, mg/L


Basin concentration before addition of flow for time Δt, mg/L


Basin average influent concentration over a period of Δt, mg/L


Chemical oxygen demand, mg/L


Fine screen coefficient of discharge, dimensionless


Diameter of the impeller, m


Acceleration due to gravity, m/s2


Mean velocity gradient, m/s


Head loss in a coarse screen, m


Head loss in fine screens, m


Velocity head of flow approaching the rack, m = \( k_{\text{v}} \left( {\frac{{V_{\text{a}}^{2} }}{2g}} \right) \)


Constant in mixing, varies with equipment used


Number of revolution per second, rpm


Power required in laminar condition, W


Power required in turbulent condition, W


Power required per unit volume, W/m3


Discharge through the fine screen, m3/d


Standard deviation of effluent wastewater concentration at a specified probability


Standard deviation of influent wastewater concentration


Equalization detention time, h


Maximum cross-sectional width of the bars facing direction of flow, m



We wish to acknowledge Education Trust Fund (ETF) Nigeria and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria for supporting this research work as part of preliminary studies to our research study titled “Electrochemical Treatment of Raw Water and Wastewaters.” Also, the authors wish to acknowledge Linkages Office of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria for the Scientific Writing and Publishing & Oral Communication and Presentation Training given to the main author. We applied the sequence determines-credit (SDC) approach, which involves intellectual input, practical (data capture, data processing and organizing) input, specialist input, literary input and financial input for the sequence of the author.


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. A. Oke
    • 1
  • K. T. Oladepo
    • 1
  • N. O. Olarinoye
    • 2
  • M. A. Asani
    • 3
  • O. F. Olaobaju
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry Adeyemi College of Education OndoObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Urban and Regional PlanningLadoke Akintola University TechnologyOgbomosoNigeria

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