Ambio Environmental Management Laboratory, first established as an auxiliary service for wastewater testing on the premises of VUT (Vaal University of Technology), has in the few years since initiation developed into an independent full-service microbiological and ecotoxicology company. Ambio is ready to expand and become a formidable source of service and expertise to the Vaal Triangle by providing scientifically sound data and affordable professional support both offered in a short turnaround time.
The laboratory recently acquired a WTW Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) system and Thermo Scientific Orion Aquamate spectrophotometer from Labotec for on-site testing of water quality parameters to help streamline their process. Biodegradability, toxicity and water remediation are important environmental considerations for wastewater. The new systems will form part of the testing process to facilitate the measurements of a water samples’ parameters such as phosphate, nitrate and alkalinity levels. For optimal operation in a wastewater plant for instance, carbon, nitrogen and phosphate levels must be balanced. Once the sample has been tested, Ambio delivers consultation on which adjustments are necessary for optimal water, and how to use equipment more efficiently. This may involve for instance, balancing the nutrients in the water, or shocking the sludge to rid it of toxins. Sample testing at any wastewater plant should ideally be performed more than once a week due to the many factors that influence the quality thereof.
Measurement of samples using WTW OxiTop BOD is based on pressure measurement in a closed system. Measurement ranges of up to 4000mg/l can be measured using different volumes. The OxiTop has an “intelligent” temperature control for automatic start under optimal conditions, which means that measurements can be completed after-hours if necessary. The OxiTop was developed in accordance with German DIN standards and offers a practical, accurate, simple method, which reduces expenditure when compared with conventional methods.
The Orion Aquamate 7000 Vis Spectrophotometer for 325 to 1100nm wavelengths with its 5.0nm spectral bandwidth, is ideal for visible routine concentration measurements. Over 260 pre-programmed methods are available, and with single beam optics and Tungsten halogen lamp it offers simple operation, and great value.
With premises on the VUT campus, Ambio has two students for in-service training and the staff help supervise post graduate BTech and M Tech students’ practical projects. They are in the process of SANAS accreditation, and in the future envisage branching out into food analysis.