Industrial facilities often discharge wastewater into municipal treatment systems and pay a surcharge based on loadings (pollutants) sent to the municipal facility. Often target components are BOD/COD, TSS, & ammonia. Surcharges are often high enough that the industrial facility will consider pretreatment to lower pollutants being transferred. The problem is most pretreatment systems tend to have either a high upfront equipment costs or have expensive chemical requirements.
Aster Bio has recently worked with an customer with high strength BOD (highly degradable organic acids majority of BOD) average of 3,500 - 4,800 mg/L with a flow of 20,000 gallons per day. Proposed pre-treatment systems were all priced $250,000 - 750,000 which was too high for the facility. Given a budget of $70,000, Aster Bio and the facility designed a pretreatment system using existing tanks with a total volume of 100,000 gallons. Adding a coarse bubble diffuser and eductor aeration/mixing system and associated piping resulted the facility meeting budgeted costs with room to spare. Since the system is simply an aerated series of tanks with no biosolids recycle, Aster Bio developed a microbial blend to inoculate active cultures at the front of the system. Testing runs resulted in 5 day decreases in influent BOD to <200 mg/L with a low of 75 mg/L. The ongoing Aster biological seed cultures used are a minor cost for the facility and run approximately $15 - 20/day depending upon charge and waste strength.
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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