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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…]

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

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.

Microplex® JS Jump Starts Utah Summer Camp WWTF

by Heather Jennings, PE

If I had to choose a favorite of our microbial products it would have to be our Microplex® JS product. It is a two-part formulation of a live synergistic blend of natural, Class I bacteria, specifically chosen for their ability to rapidly degrade solids, fats, lipids, proteins, detergents, hydrocarbons, and other compounds. It’s actually magical in the sense that we can start a new activated sludge plant with it or help one recover rapidly when biomass is lost. I can put it in and know it works. What’s even better is that it’s a live culture: mix two 50 ml vials in 55 gallons of water and within hours you have 55 gallons of microbial product ready to apply. Does it save the world? No, but if you’d like a break from some of the biomass issues you’ve been dealing with it can at least save you an ulcer or two. [Read more…]

Our Humic Advantage

Humic substances, among the most wondrous products of nature, are the recycled essential residues of life. Plants harvest the sun’s energy and create life from that energy plus the carbon and oxygen they pull out of the air and the minerals they pull out of the soil. When plants die, all of their components are decomposed through the aid of microorganisms and mineralization, then returned to the soil as organic matter. Continue reading

Pulp and Paper Wastewater Solutions

Pulp and Paper Processing Plant
Experience the world’s most efficient wastewater remediation products, for operational stability of pulp and paper wastewater treatment facilities.
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Food Processing Wastewater Treatment Solutions

Cheese processing plant
Experience the world’s most efficient wastewater remediation products, for operational stability of food processing wastewater treatment facilities.
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