Septicity in wastewater refers to the byproducts of fermentative or anaerobic microbial processes. When redox conditions drop as microbes consume available dissolved oxygen, the organisms use alternative electron acceptors ending with the production of organic acids, hydrogen gas, and methane. In most EQ tanks, we have fermentative respiration occurring. Fermentation produces organic acids - if sulfate was present in the influent it will also result in H2S production. In an EQ tank we don't usually see much growth of methanogens which would convert organic acids into methane. While this microbial process does reduce overall ultimate BOD (BOD20) or COD, the process can create treatment challenges if the biological treatment unit. How can high organic acids upset a biological treatment unit?
Erik Rumbaugh has been involved in biological waste treatment for over 20 years. He has worked with industrial and municipal wastewater facilities to ensure optimal performance of their treatment systems. He is a founder of Aster Bio (www.asterbio.com) specializing in biological waste treatment.
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