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It’s ALIVE!

by Heather Jennings, PE

. . . the lagoon sludge layer, that is. I’ve seen many lagoons full of sludge, and the general attitude I find in the water industry is that the sludge layer is inert and really can only be mechanically dredged. To a certain point, that is correct: sand, soil, grit, plastics—basically inorganics—do need to be mechanically dredged. The organics, on the other hand, don’t, and they are easily removed with bioremediation. Continue Reading

Let’s Talk Nutrients for a Minute

by Heather Jennings, PE

Generally, in the wastewater industry we talk about 100 mg/L BOD to 5 mg/L Nitrogen to 1 mg/L Phosphorus. The values for nitrogen and phosphorus can be higher or lower than this, but it’s the average number that many wastewater system designs are built around.

If you look a little further, there is another formula used to describe the typical biomass of cells, C12H87O23N12P. This just isn’t all that is needed, though, to build a healthy biomass. Just like how my kids can’t grow healthy on pizza and their favorite blue box of mac and cheese, microbes need additional inorganic nutrients such as potassium, calcium, iron, and chlorine. They also need micronutrients such as molybdenum, cobalt, nickel, and others. This is where many wastewater systems are typically deficient: the micronutrients. What wastewater treatment facility operators often don’t realize is that you can have all the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the world, but without the inorganic and micronutrients you may never be able to truly optimize your system!

The more diversified your influent, the better off you are, but you can still have a system always on the edge of running out. Add chronic toxicity or a mild upset, and you can lose the whole biomass overnight. Our Probiotic Solutions® product, Bio Genesis®, uses a carbon carrier to deliver macro- and micronutrients to the cells. The added bonus is that the carbon carrier we call Micro Carbon Technology® is itself a biostimulant—think energy drink for the microbes—that helps them reduce solids and organics more efficiently than previously possible.

For more information about Bio Genesis, click here.

Spring Is Coming and It’s Lagoon Time!

By Heather Jennings, PE

As winter loses its grip on us and we move toward spring, it’s finally time to start monitoring lagoons for seasonal turnover and stricter permit requirements. It’s also a great time to start bioremediation of your lagoon organic sludge!

With warmer weather it is easy to capitalize on those microorganisms that have been suppressed during the cooler months. A good example of this is a system we worked with in New Mexico that was dealing with irregular sludge build-up in their three lagoons. The system was modified to run in series relative to the influent rather than the short circuiting that took the first pond out of use. A 6-month test (later extended to 300 days) was developed in which Bio Energizer®, a bio stimulant, was administered to make nutrients more available to wastewater microorganisms.

Results: Pond 1 had a 12% sludge reduction, Pond 2 had a 36% reduction, and Pond 3 had a 24% reduction. The great thing is that no dredging expense was necessary, just daily application of Bio Energizer®.

To download/read the case study. click here for English or here for Spanish.

Use of Biostimulants for Upset Recovery in Paper Mill Wastewater Systems

By Heather Jennings, PE

Two specific Probiotic Solutions® liquid bioremediation products were used at a large-scale paper mill in China to address system upsets caused by hydraulic loading from new upstream processes.

The products involved are Bio Energizer® (BE)—a scientific formulation of organic acids, buffers, natural biological stimulants, micronutrients, and energy systems—and Micatrol® (MT), a specialized product that uses organic acid as a substrate to buffer wastewater microbial life. Both BE and MT are complexed with our proprietary Micro Carbon Technology® (MCT) to deliver readily bioavailable nutrients to microorganisms. [Read more…]

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 11: Everything You Wanted to Know About BOD Testing (But Were Afraid to Ask)

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In Episode 11, Heather Jennings discusses wastewater BOD (biological oxygen demand) Testing and Lab Analysis with 2 guests: Rick Mealy, retired program chemist from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Laboratory Certification and Registration Program and president-elect of the Wisconsin Wastewater Operator Association’s (WWOA) Board of Directors, and George Bowman, retired lab manager and certification audit chemist.

Contact Rick Mealy at rickmealy1@gmail.com or through the Wisconsin Wastewater Operators’ Association

How to make Holy Water (according to Rick and George): Wait for the video on Slide 2. Click to Watch

Podcast References from Wanda’s Water Tidbit: Walking on Water

 

White Paper: Lagoons—Under the Surface

An In-Depth Investigation of Bioremediation and Biological Factors Involved in Reducing Sludge at a Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facility Lagoon System

Heather Jennings, PE, Sr. Project Engineer, Probiotic Solutions®

Abstract

In this study, the operators of a municipal wastewater treatment facility with 4 lagoons had determined that their 2 primary lagoons—10-foot-deep, with 25-million-gallon holding capacity each—had reached sludge depths of 5–7 feet, putting the lagoons at risk of upset and seriously impacting the facility’s wastewater processing capacity. Continue Reading

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 10: Getting Clarification

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In Episode 10, Heather Jennings discusses water clarifiers with John Gottschall. Mr. Gottschall is retired, with over 40 years of experience in the wastewater industry. Topics covered in the podcast include introduction and orientation to water clarifiers, types, processes involved, and maintenance of clarifier systems. Mr. Gottschall shares many lessons learned from his long experience, along with stories from the field that include goats and lawn mowers!

John Gottschall may be contacted at johngottschall7@gmail.com.

Podcast References from Wanda’s Water Tidbit: Ice Balls

BIO ENERGIZER® Reduces Sludge 45% In One Year, Saves Municipal Plant $6 M In Dredging Costs

by Heather Jennings, PS

In this study, a one-year bioremediation plan featuring Bio Energizer® was implemented for a municipal wastewater treatment facility with 2 primary lagoons in which sludge depths had reached 5–7 feet. The lagoons were at risk of upset and wastewater processing capacity was reduced. 

Bio Energizer® was added via peristaltic pump to the lagoon inlets. Initially the dose applied was 7 ppm (7 gallons of product to 1,000,000 gallons of influent, assuming a typical Biochemical Oxygen Demand [BOD5] of 240 mg/L) and was eventually decreased 10 months later to 5 ppm. A maintenance dose of 3 ppm was established 2 months later.

Sludge levels were measured at baseline and quarterly. Sludge depth was biologically reduced by an average of 45%. This represented 17,810 dry tons of sludge that did not need to be mechanically removed and hauled to a disposal location, a potential savings of $6 million. When compared with product cost, and it was found that the facility product investment was 5.8% of the potential dredging costs.

To view the report, click here.

For more information about Bio Energizer®, click here.

Ducks Walking on Water?

by Heather Jennings, PE
Bio Energizer® Reduces Sludge Over 40% at Utah Municipal WTP

The case study described below was a project that I worked on with a small-lagoon municipal system so overwhelmed with solids that state action was being taken. The ducks on the other side of the lagoon from me literally looked as though they were walking on the water surface! Honestly, that was a new one for me. We can help prevent solids buildup with little capital costs and time! The case study is below. [Read more…]

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 9: Testing Wastewater for Covid-19

“Where we bridge the gap between water plant operators and engineers”

In Episode 9, Heather Jennings discusses COVID 19 wastewater epidemiology and how that helps communities track the pandemic in their communities. Her guests are:

  • Ian L. Pepper, PhD, Professor at the University of Arizona and Director of the Water & Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center in Tucson, Arizona.
  • Dave Tracey, a licensed professional engineer in the province of New Brunswick, Canada, and Director of Global Channel Sales for LuminUltra Technologies Ltd, a Canadian firm focusing on biological monitoring and control solutions.
  • Helena Steeves, Clinical Applications Engineer at LuminUltra Technologies Ltd.

Dr. Pepper may be contacted at the WEST Center: www.west.arizona.edu

Mr. Tracey and Ms. Steeves may be contacted, and information about LuminUltra Technologies is available, at:

Podcast References from Wanda’s Water Tidbit

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