Explosion protection concerns all operators of wastewater processes.

Not only complex plants with anaerobic stabilization and digester gas utilization but also simple rainwater retention basins and the public sewer network are subject to EX regulations

The basis for the risk assessment is the so-called normal operation, for which the appropriate protective measures must be defined. This also includes normal operational disturbances.

According to DWA-M 217, this means that even the unauthorized or accidental discharge of gasoline into the sewer system must be considered part of normal operation. Accordingly, suitable protective measures must be taken to avoid a risk of ignition.

Particularly in the case of sampling equipment, the issue of zone entrainment must also be taken into account in the risk assessment. This means that not only the installation site is EX-relevant, but also whether explosive gas mixtures can arise inside the sampler as a result of sampling. Be it through the samples themselves or through the suction process.

The current incident at Covestro in the Leverkusen area unfortunately shows once again how important it is not to underestimate the risk of an explosive gas atmosphere.

There are technical possibilities to safely design samplers and measuring equipment in order to avoid the risk of explosion when using this equipment. The comprehensive ATEX/IECEX standards provide the guidelines for developing, producing and operating equipment safely. Of course, the technical effort is higher than for a standard industrial device and thus also the price. However, if you calculate this surcharge over the service life of the devices, it quickly becomes clear that this "small" surcharge should be worth the safety.