Hydro MicroScreen™ helps Oregon particle board manufacturer to improve effluent quality and increase by-product reuse

Hydro MicroScreen™ reduces solids loading from industrial wastewater effluent by 77%, increasing by-product capture and reuse.


A large particle board manufacturer in western Oregon, US, was facing high levels of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) in their effluent. Their TSS primarily consisted of sawdust and ¼” (6 mm) wood chips. They had three outfalls covered under a single National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that had the potential to become an expensive environmental violation if excessive TSS was not removed before outfall.

Their existing sedimentation tank was divided into stages with fabric baffle weirs. After sedimentation flows are sent to a pea gravel filter bed to remove solids prior to outfall, but rain events and growing demand were straining their capacity.

Excessive solids loading during plant washdown had the potential to limit the effectiveness of their sedimentation system. This system relies on gravity, the weir walls, and detention time to remove TSS prior to flows entering their pea gravel filtration system. A big storm event, combined with plant washdown, could overwhelm this critical system.

The plant was looking for a more effective TSS removal system that could handle larger loads, reduce required detention time for settling, protect their sedimentation system, and reduce the frequency of required cleaning.


Hydro International was contacted to install a demonstration unit on site and test Hydro MicroScreen™ performance under the wide variety of operating conditions they encounter.  Various flow rates were tested, with and without prior polymer addition, and during plant washdown.  Grab samples of influent to the Hydro MicroScreen™ and effluent out of the Hydro MicroScreen™ were analysed by the plant’s on-site laboratory staff.

Despite the wide variety of their operating conditions, the Hydro MicroScreen™ delivered consistently high performance – with 77% TSS removal (on average) under all operating conditions. Additionally, solids output from the Hydro MicroScreen™ system were visibly dry.

On average solids were 25% TS which allowed them to be fed back into the plant process, allowing them to reclaim their solids rather than paying to send them to landfill.

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