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Sludge Removal

Sludge is the by-product generated from the physical, chemical and biological treatment processes of a wastewater treatment plant.  Sludge management, which includes thickening, treatment, hauling, and disposal, is one of the biggest and most expensive burdens facing municipal plants. The costs of sludge management accounts for a large portion of the total WWTP operating cost and can be as much as 35% of the capital costs of new plants and plant upgrades.  Less than 1/3 of all sludge produced in the United States is used for some beneficial purpose (e.g., land application for crops, energy generation, etc) – the rest is carted off to landfill or incinerated.  The carbon footprint of dealing with the sludge produced by over 15,000 US wastewater treatment plants is enormous.

In some cases, sludge treatment may be required to minimize odor emissions during transportation or to reduce and stabilize the remaining sludge organic contents. Due to high sludge management costs and the availability of disposal sites, we believe it is vital to find new ways to reduce sludge production. 

Fortunately, you already the infrastructure to start doing this today – with zero additional capital costs.  In fact, IPT’s approach can likely help you reduce the costs of managing sludge by as much as 30%.

Image by Marcin Jozwiak
Sludge Reduction

IPT's approach can likely help you reduce the costs of managing sludge by as much as 30%

The Sewer Network

As an integral part of wastewater system, the sewer collection system contains similar treatment capabilities as treatment plant – it is a large biological reactor. As wastewater travels through the sewer, small amounts of the organic material (as measured by Chemical Oxygen Demand or COD) are made more soluble by certain types of beneficial bacteria present in the waste stream.  Part of the organic material they feed off of is readily biodegradeable, (rbCOD), some of it can be biodegraded relatively quickly (fhCOD), and some of it takes a great deal of time to solubilize (sbCOD).  Under normal conditions, these bacteria are not abundant or efficient enough to make much of a difference in these ratios given the changing environmental conditions they encounter along the way (especially variations in temperature, pH, alkalinity, toxicity, and available oxygen).

System review

In-Pipe will conduct a review of your treatment plant processes and biosolids handling.  We will consult with your staff to set goals in place for solids reduction. Our engineering team will then conduct a system-wide analysis using proprietary modelling to determine optimal dosing locations.

Our Approach

Our solution changes the game.  Some of the most adaptable and efficient bacteria on earth comes from the soil.  Just think about it: billions of years of evolution of one of the most basic life forms, in an environment that is changing all the time.  Our specialized blend of the most efficient types of these bacteria thrives in any environment found in the sewer, going to work on the nutrients in the waste stream with or without oxygen, using nitrogen if that’s available – and under wide range of temperature and pH conditions.  We continuously (24/7/365) dose high concentrations of these non-pathogenic, facultative, spore-forming bacteria throughout the entire sewer network with small, self-contained, and battery-powered dosing units, using the time it takes for the waste to travel to the plant to make much more of it soluble and biodegradable.

Our service is specifically tailored to each collection system, taking into account the size and complexity of the collection system, and the detailed operating profile of the treatment plant.  We supply equipment and bacteria, and service and refill the installed dosing system – completely turnkey - for a flat monthly fee.  In many cases the cost savings generated from a reduction in sludge pays for our service in 12 months or less.

The Science

Take a deeper dive into the science behind Sludge Removal
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