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Podcast Q&A: Stump the Experts

For our May “Water Break” podcast we’d like to test the experience of 3 panelists who collectively have 100 years of experience between them. Please send me the trickiest wastewater issues you’ve dealt with or are currently dealing with! I personally can’t wait to hear our panelists’ responses! Send your questions to Heather@bhn.us by 5 pm Wednesday, May 12, 2021. You can also put your questions in the blog comments section and we’ll connect to get the specifics. 

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.

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

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…]

Up to 85% Solids Destruction Achieved Using BIO ENERGIZER®

By Heather Jennings, PE

The wastewater treatment facility operators at a city in Missouri wanted better digester performance. They needed a better settling sludge and a higher volume of decants, as well as more room to waste sludge within their existing digesters. The options to dispose of the digested sludge were becoming more and more scarce.

After trialing 3 products, they found BIO ENERGIZER® reduced their solids the best. Significant improvement in settling as well as a significant reduction in the total solids occurred in their digesters. They have achieved up to 85% volatile solids destruction using BIO ENERGIZER®. Another benefit that the City has gained is increased decant volumes. The City has doubled the number of decants by using BIO ENERGIZER® compared with other products previously used. This all results in lower hauling and handling costs. All it takes is a peristaltic pump and the product to get you similar savings! [Read more…]

Anaerobic Digester Saves 42% In Sludge Hauling

by Heather Jennings, PE

The case summary described below is an example of how our Bio Energizer® product helped reduce overall solids handling and improved supernatant clarity. It really doesn’t take much Bio Energizer® to reduce solids within your system when the microbial community is stimulated or “kicked into gear” to do their job. Typically, in anaerobic digestion we dose between 1–2 gallons/MGD. This system had 250,000 gpd and, after an initial dose of 2 gallons, they added 7 oz/day of the product for 60 days in their primary digester. The results? The volume of each decant was double the normal volume, and they had half the solids loading with an average of 0.21% solids. Continuously using the product over two years yielded a net savings of $1,024/ month! [Read more…]

Use of Biostimulants and Buffers for Upset Recovery in Paper Mill Wastewater Systems

By Heather Jennings, PE

Industrial pulp and paper wastewater is considered one of the more challenging waters to treat using biological methods, which depend on microbial activity to effectively remediate the wastewater.

Wastewater treatment systems are often influenced/impacted by increased hydraulic and/or COD (chemical oxygen demand) loading as mills add new chemicals or otherwise modify mill operations. These events oftentimes inhibit the wastewater microbial activity, causing “upsets” and, potentially, discharge-limit violations. However, providing the necessary biostimulants and buffers to the microbial system—as we describe in this case study from a paper mill in China—can significantly improve system-upset recovery time and overall operational stability. Continue Reading

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 7: Anaerobic Digesters

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

In Episode 7, Heather Jennings discusses Wastewater Anaerobic Digesters with Kay Curtin. Kay is an Advanced Wastewater Operator in Wisconsin and a Level A Wastewater Operator in Minnesota, with 45+ years’ experience in wastewater. She is currently working with the Wisconsin Rural Water Association as a trainer/technician for Western Wisconsin and has her own consulting business, Curtin Consulting, LLC. Topics covered in the podcast include anaerobic digester pros and cons, bacteria used, nutritional requirements, key operating parameters, main causes of failures, and typical operating issues.

Kay Curtin

Bio and contact info at Wisconsin Rural Water Association

Podcast Reference from Wanda’s Water Tidbit: The World’s Most Beautiful Sewage Plant

The Water Break Podcast, Episode 6: Microbial Lab Operations

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

In Episode 6, Heather Jennings discusses Wastewater Laboratory Operations with Toni Glymph-Martin. Toni is a Wastewater Microbiologist and Certified Operator, B-Level, with 40+ years’ experience. She is the author of two books: A Wastewater Microbiology Laboratory Manual for Operators and Wastewater Microbiology: A Handbook for Operators. In today’s podcast, Toni talks about how and when to use a microscope to better manage wastewater treatment.

Toni Glymph-Martin

Toni’s Website: https://www.wwmicrosolutions.com/

Toni’s textbooks:

More from Toni Glymph-Martin (video): The Wastewater Treatment Plant Microbiological Zoo

Toni Modeling Her Water Bear (Tardigrade) Wear

Podcast Reference from Wanda’s Water Tidbit
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