Wisconsin City Surges CFU Even in Cold Temperatures

Aug. 6, 2018
The microbiological population in the plant's sludge increased 350% despite the cold winter temperatures

The plant operator for a city in Wisconsin noticed a buildup of sludge in the treatment plant lagoons and wanted to prevent the need for future dredging, as the costs for dredging were cost prohibitive to the city. With the onset of cold winter weather there was also a need to increase the microbial population to help manage BODs and increase sludge reduction.

Assessing the Situation

A city’s wastewater treatment plant in Wisconsin serviced a population of 947. The facility had two lagoons with a depth of 14 ft, in an area of 0.75 acres. The flow capacity was around 50,000 gal per day.

About 20 in. of sludge had accumulated in the first lagoon of the treatment plant. In October the plant operator decided to begin using Bio Energizer, a biological activator that accelerates the natural oxidation of sludge into harmless carbon dioxide and water. With cooler weather and temperatures dropping to at or below freezing, there was a concern that the existing microbial population in the lagoon would not be able to adequately reduce incoming bio-solids/BODs and prevent further development of the sludge blanket.

Testing a Treatment Solution

A 60-day trial was proposed to use Bio Energizer to biologically oxidize their sludge while the lagoons remained online, as well as quantify the changes to the microbial population. A baseline sample of the effluent was sampled and analyzed by a certified laboratory.  In the first sample 40 colony-forming units (CFU) were found. The plant operator then began adding Bio Energizer at the recommended start up dose of 7 parts per million (ppm) for 30 days, (November) at the end of which another effluent sample was taken. The result of the second sample was that their CFU in the effluent had increased from 40 to 100 CFU. The dosage of Bio Energizer was then reduced to the typical 5 ppm and a sample was collected after another 30 days (December). The result of the second sample showed further increase up to 140 CFU in the effluent. After 60 days, the increase of the microbiological population increased 350% despite the colder winter temperatures. The plant operator also stated that the effluent clarity had increased in his system and has decided to continue using Bio Energizer in the facility.

Product Information

Bio Energizer is a broad-spectrum bio-activator containing more than 30 essential microbial growth-promoting ingredients. By design, Bio Energizer is a balanced formulation of vitamins, trace nutrients, enzymes, organic acids and bio-stimulants that motivate the existing microbial community to greater metabolic capacity and efficiency. Bio Energizer is not a bacterium nor an inoculum.

For many years wastewater operators have continued to use Bio Energizer to cut their sludge hauling costs.

Operators using Bio Energizer report:

  • • Increases in BOD removal efficiency. Bio Energizer improves treatment plant removal efficiency to increase plant treatment capacity and more easily meet effluent requirements.
  • • The elimination of expensive dredging costs. Bio Energizer converts sludge into gases and water, reducing sludge accumulations. No draining, drying, excavating or inconvenient down time.
  • • The reduction of odors and aeration costs. Bio Energizer enhances aerobic and facultative biological eco-systems to reduce the production of objectionable and offensive odors and enhances dissolved oxygen levels. Bio Energizer also increases the dissolved oxygen levels which decreases the need for aeration.

Bio Energizer enhances endogenous respiration for faster and more complete oxidation of sludge into carbon dioxide and water.

Shawn Whitmer, P.E., is director of engineering and probiotic solutions for Probiotic Solutions. Whitmer can be reached at [email protected] or 800.961.1220.

About the Author

Shawn Whitmer

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