With increasing frequency, people are asking how to use NSF-listed home plants for office,
restaurant, or other nonresidential applications. Based on the last several years of experience, I
now have come to the opinion that at no time should any NSF-listed home plant be used on
anything other than residential strength wastewater.
There are two basic reasons for this opinion. The first reason is that nonresidential applications
usually generate wastewater of higher strength and higher solids content than residential
wastewater. The treatment capacity of these home plants is not tested nor intended to handle
higher strength wastewater. Further, the pretreatment and treatment capacity of these home
plants is not intended to handle the higher solids content of high strength wastewater.
The second reason is that many nonresidential applications have other wastewater strength
parameters that are also outside the treatment capacities of these home plants. Restaurants, for
example, have high fats, oils and grease (FOG) content, high levels of undigested foods, high
levels of toxic products, as well as often having high temperature wastewater. I don’t believe
that any home plant is designed or intended to treat this type of wastewater.
It is my opinion that the only way a home plant can be used correctly on a nonresidential strength
wastewater application is if the wastewater is first pretreated by a product or process specifically
designed for the high strength constituent. If the wastewater is pretreated to reduce the strength
to a residential strength, then, and only then, can a home plant be used correctly.
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