Too many people overtax the self-cleaning capacity of nature. Sewage treatment copies and concentrates natural processes. It is important to understand that we are not talking about chemical processes, but a complex form of life, made up by a great variety of interacting organisms. A sewage plant can thus not be turned off. You have to “feed” your biology and look after it. The basic principle of biological wastewater treatment is the bio-degradation of organic pollutants by a diversified population of bacteria. This bacterial population or community is known as the biomass.
Waste treatment systems are prone to failure due to an insufficient biomass, resulting in high levels of organic matter, suspended solids (SS levels), oxygen deprivation (BOD/COD levels) and pathogenic bacteria such as E-coli.
Pathogenic bacteria such as E-coli and the others that are responsible for water borne diseases, make up only a small fraction of naturally occurring bacteria. In balanced systems these would be rendered harmless by the bio-degradation process and ultra-violet rays from the sun. However in South Africa alone, there are over 1000 deaths per day due to the presence of pathogenic bacteria in domestic water.
Bio-augmentation is based on blends of specialised harmless bacteria, (which have been specially chosen from their natural environment, for their ability to produce enzymes that very effectively bio-degrade wastes such as sewerage, fats, mineral oils and others.) that are freeze-dried and packed in small sachets. Each sachet has approximately 1 billion bacteria per gram and when the bacteria are re-hydrated in water, mixed and then poured into a problem area the organic effluent is then biologically broken down.
Since effluent contains mostly solid food matter, the bacteria need a way to convert these solids to dissolved nutrient. Micro-organisms do not ingest food but rather absorb dissolved nutrients from their environment. They achieve this by secreting enzymes, which break down the solid to suspended solids and then soluble organic material where they are ingested and broken down to their simplest form, (Carbon dioxide and Water).
Enzymes are catalysts made of protein. A catalyst is a substance, which causes a chemical reaction to take place. Micro-organisms manufacture thousands of different enzymes. There are many stages in completely biodegrading an organic particle too carbon dioxide and water. Each stage is catalysed by a different enzyme. As each compound is broken down by an enzyme, the micro-organism must produce the different enzyme necessary for the subsequent reaction. If one enzyme is missing in the sequence the biodegradation process stops. They utilise the waste as food for energy, growth, reproduction and production of more enzymes multiplying in aerobic and anaerobic environments.
NB. While enzymes are primarily responsible for the bio-degradation process, it is the micro-organisms/bacteria which produce them in the right quantities and for each reaction. Different species of micro-organisms digest different classes of food and thus manufacture and secrete different enzyme systems. The efficiency of the bio-degradation process is dependent on the right enzymes being present in adequate concentrations and at the right time.
“What has been used before was Enzyme Augmentation, NOT specially selected Bacteria Augmentation, which has been the breakthrough” – Prof. Ralf Olleman, CSIR, on completion of studying the sumbitted products.
- Other microbes in the product compete with the cholera bacteria for the same food source, starving the cholera bacteria and preventing it from spreading.
- Biodegrade and empty total sewage and paper content of a pit toilet (long drop) in 5 to 20 days without contaminating the ground water.
- Biodegrade the hydrogen sulphides, the stink, within 24 to 48 hours.
- Biodegrade the solidified effluent in the chambers of a septic tank thereby decongesting the soak-away, rendering the system functional again.
- Decongest the anaerobic and aerobic solidified effluent in oxidation and maturation ponds, restoring capacity and is done more cost effectively than the usual mechanical methods currently used. In many cases this has resulted in expansion plans being put on hold.
- Ensure compliance with the health requirements, which other methods do not.
- Accelerate the bio-degradation process in hydraulically overloaded works and ensuring final effluent conforms to discharge standards thus avoiding health hazards. In this way more capacity is increased and more waste can be processed in less time.
- Micro-organisms utilise the food for energy, growth, reproduction and production of more enzymes.
- Food availability/composition of the waste and the volume of the treatment system dictate the size of the population of micro-organisms or biomass. Thus if one inoculates the system with a small amount of micro-organisms, the biomass will develop to a size suitable to its environment and secrete sufficient enzymes to deal with its environment.
- Similarly, if components of the biomass are lost from the system by flow (in moderation of course!) the biomass grows back to its original size.
- Biodegrade sewage spills in rivers and dams rendering the water safe again.
- Due to their unique capabilities of converting an anaerobic to aerobic environment the bio-augmentation process eliminates waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, malaria and cholera thus implementing a diseases spreading control program while remedying sewerage problems
- Two of the products contain a bacterium that secretes a crystalline toxin that kills off the mosquito and black fly larvae
- Due to their ability to reduce the Phosphates and Nitrates they eliminate Cyno bacteria.
- Lowers the SS, C.O.D. and B.O.D. levels providing more oxygen to the system.
- In the event of harsh chemicals killing off the natural biomass, you are able to regenerate any system through bio-augmentation.
- Eliminates the possible breeding ground for pathogens such as Ecoli.
- Reduce environmental damage to ground and surface waters because bio-augmentation is completely environmentally friendly.
- Bio-augmentation is the most efficient and cost effective first aid or maintenance for sewage rectification
- PITKING is aimed at a general variety of sewerage problems ranging from pit toilets to oxidation and maturation ponds, septic tanks, French drains, sewerage spills in rivers & dams, hydraulic overloading control and contamination of groundwater. (45gr sachets)
- FATKING secrete a high content of Lipase enzyme to biodegrade fats, oils and grease emanating from kitchens and food processing industry and normally works in conjunction with Pitking. (30gr sachets)
- (FSR101 is aimed at the fibrous effluent in the wine, pulp, fruit and sugar industries and due to its nutrient reduction capabilities it reduces algae and duckweed). Discontinued see FSR301.
- (FSR201 is designed to increase the solids reduction in sewerage plants to accommodate hydraulic overload, seasonal increased influent and hazardous chemical contamination). Discontinued see FSR301
- FSR301 is a concentrated blend derived from FSR101, FSR201 and Fatking, intended for use in larger applications where high dosages are required. (450gr sachets)
- BIOWIN contains a specially formulated range of adapted high performance micro-organisms and fungi, some of which are not found in its natural influent, specifically for the breaking down of fibrous effluent. This is used in Winery and Distillery effluent, Fruit processing, and Sugar Cane mills. They are further selected for their ability to biodegrade the various sugars, acids and polyphenols found in spent wine. (450gr sachet)
- BIOLAKE aimed at killing off algae and most aquatic weed and further clear the water organically by reducing the levels of phosphorous and nitrogen compounds which are the main food source for algae and grasses.
- PRO301 is a specially formulated bacterial product, which dramatically enhances the biodegradation of general blood proteins, Keratin, Gelatine and Brewer’s yeast in Abattoir, Tannery, Brewing and Food wastewaters.
- EMP301 Enhanced Methane Production. This blend contains a microbial consortium capable of increasing the production of methane from anaerobic digesters. EMP301 includes a proprietary micronutrient carrier that provides accelerated germination and growth, increasing the metabolic activity of the microbial population.
Other sewage and waste related problems will be remedied by the unique benefits of bio-augmentation products when applied to:
- Aqua privy toilets
- Conservancy and septic tanks
- French drains
- Fat & grease traps
- Anaerobic reactors
- Bio filters
- Aeration chambers
- Anaerobic digesters
- Humus tanks
- Activated sludge systems
- Reactivate systems after hazardous chemicals have killed off the biomass
- New systems in need of Biologically activation
- Spent Wine, Distillery effluent – IPW compliant
- Sewage blockages in drains and congested manholes
Bio-augmentation is the most cost-effective “first aid” treatment for sewerage rectification. In the case of a system that has been poorly maintained, one that is overloaded or a system that has experienced a mechanical breakdown, by regular dosing with our products the final effluent will improve sufficiently to conform to final discharge standard.
On 4th April 2006, an email was sent to all DWAF Regional Offices from the Senior Specialist Engineer giving them approval to use bio-augmentation that complies with the above specifications, based on the Professor D. Goldberg’s Faecal Management Document.
Notable Achievements A few of our recent success results
- National Public Works – 12 month contract for the rectification and decongesting of Waste Water Treatment Works, Pit toilets, Septic tanks at Police stations, Military barracks, Prisons and Magistrate Courts – reduced their sewage maintenance costs by 60%.
- Department of Water Affairs and Forestry – Giyani District – there was an outbreak of dysentery and diarrhoea in the Bolubedu area and 19 people died. Rehabilitation of 2 rivers, 4 sewage treatment works, 2 pump stations and pit toilets were rectified over a four month period.
- Eradicating the cause of a cholera outbreak, which had resulted from congested Pit Toilets at a school, which had to be closed down, in Lesotho
- De-sludge the pump stations, distribution chambers and primary pond of Francistown Town Council, Botswana and controlled the hydraulic overload for two years until an upgrade was implemented.
- Treated 5200 Pit Toilets, which had contaminated the ground water causing a cholera outbreak in Lusaka, Zambia. This treatment resulted in the eradication of the outbreak.
- 16923 Pit toilets and Aqua-Privies were dosed and remedied in Ivory Park – Selected locals were trained to implement the dosing under supervision. The cost was approximately 30% of the Vacuum Tanking costs normally used. The environment naturally benefited. The success was published in the local papers.
- After the Nylstroom sewage treatment works was discharging partially processed sewerage into the river killing fish and aquatic life. Treated and cleaned Nyl River to the satisfaction of the Department of Water Affairs.
- Biodegraded 7000 cubic meters of sludge eradicating the smells and vastly improved the quality of the water in the Bruma Lake. Maintained the quality of the water for 3 years after the initial treatment.
- Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal – there was an outbreak of Cholera in the Jozini area – 15 Hospital sewage treatment works were rectified the rivers treated and 2500 pit toilets decongested to remedy the situation and prevent the cholera from spreading.
- Sekororo Hospital (Limpopo) ponds discharge into the river – after treatment the Department of Water Affairs, Department of Health and WRC declare water samples as Class 1 (good water quality)
- Nakandla Pump Stations where three sections of the river, at each pump station, were polluted – pictures and independent reports x 3 are available.
- Treated the Cinderella Dam in Boksburg where an estimated 690,000 lt sewage contaminated the Dam. The fish were dying and it was closed for public recreation. The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality appointed us and successful completion was declared 4 months later. The Dam was reopened for public use. Thereafter treatment was administered after any further spillages.
- Implemented a dosing program to decongest Pit Toilets and septic tanks in Kampala, Jinja and Entebbe in Uganda and controlled the Cholera outbreak in these cities.
- Eradicated the dysentery and diarrhoea epidemic caused by the overloaded septic tanks contaminating the water in the Kinshasa General Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Treated the sludge ponds in Gansbaai and maintained the sewage treatment works for a year until such time as the expansion of the works was complete.
- Decongested the sludge build up in the primary and secondary chambers at the sewage works in Bethal. This build up had caused the stirring motors to burn out. We were able to control the contamination of the Blesbok Spruit. Due to the success of the program, quotations to rectify the old treatment works were approved.
- 1996-2003, rectified and decongested over 50 sewage treatment plants, pump stations and septic tanks in Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal Province under the instruction of DWAF.
- Working with the Department of Health, Education and Public Works KZN we concentrated on Hospitals, Clinics sewage problems and School pit toilets, we helped in the lowering of the spreading of the Cholera epidemic.
- Applied Bioaugmentation of the sewage works at Piet Retief and controlled the normal end of year overloading; this prevented the contamination of the river which was experienced the previous years.
The above are some of the more important economic and health related problems we have solved through the implementation of rectification programmes controlling and preventing the contamination of ground water and rivers.
Taking the above into account and in conjunction with the limited funds available for sewage reparation expenditure, consideration should be given to utilising bio-augmentation. In this manner, far more sewerage plants could be rectified and operate to capacity with the accessible funds available. The speed in rectifying the existing problems would be enhanced and ultimately the contamination of our water resources would be diminished, eradicating the severe public health hazard and environmental damage presently being experienced. The ultimate aim should be to treat the problems at source and not afterwards.
The products used in the bio-augmentation process of sewage and other organic waste water reparation should be the first option to be considered, as this method is the most cost efficient and effective “First Aid”. Only once the predicament has been brought under control can the full extent of the problem be assessed as to whether upgrading and capital investment is entirely necessary.
Pictures, independent test results and letters confirming the above are available on request. We have a selection of pictorial presentations under separate cover for your perusal. Should you have any further questions please contact us.
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