BUILDING A HEALTHY BALANCE
With one additional step, you can take the bacterial power in your system to the next level.
The Compliance Challenge
As a plant operator, you know not to panic when there is too much nitrogen in your effluent discharge. Whether the blip was caused by a new industrial user that made a significant dump into your system or a change in the weather, you have a list of adjustments you can make to stay within permit standards.
The time to worry is when the steps you’ve taken to fine-tune your system for years – or even decades – aren’t working anymore.
Being out of balance is not a healthy long-term condition. That’s when regulators with weeks or months of negative data might stop by to discuss your permit status and when local leaders start asking questions and challenging your expertise because they worry the plant’s problems are making them look bad.
The time to worry is when the steps you’ve taken to fine-tune your system aren’t working anymore.
It’s time to think beyond the headworks, whether you’re dealing with intermittent discharge balancing issues or facing a protracted – and possibly public – permitting battle.
Create an extra treatment step by using your entire collection system to build the health of your microbial community. Harnessing the biological reactions that are already happening upstream can give you a much better result – a cost-effective and more predictable effluent compliance program.
Trying to keep a balance
Your plant’s ability to break down organic material and get rid of things that are harmful to the environment, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, will keep you in compliance — or put you in the regulatory crosshairs.
You’re continually making adjustments based on a range of metrics. One of the most important is the quality and amount of food (or organic material) as a ratio to the amount and performance of the microbes responsible for consuming it. This is known as the F:M ratio.
If there are not enough healthy bacteria in the wastewater at your plant to break down the materials, you’ll likely purchase equipment and/or additives that will help you do the job.
An example is activated carbon – it can remove dissolved non-biodegradable and organic contaminants after initial process steps at the plant. Sure, carbon is effective. But it’s really expensive. That fact is often ignored during a crisis, when you’re worried about the EPA violations and/or your permit might be in jeopardy.
A better way to manage your F: M balance is to build the “good” bacteria supply throughout the system. They can strengthen your entire microbial community so it can handle this critical job.
Building a better microbial community
In-Pipe Technology offers an innovative natural biological solution to this persistent problem. Unlike other treatment processes, In-Pipe’s product starts working the moment waste enters the collection system, turning it into an efficient bioreactor that keeps on working until the end stages of wastewater in-plant treatment.
If you’re constantly battling nutrient levels at your plant, the In-Pipe method delivers critical headway against regulatory ceilings.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS
In-Pipe will conduct a review of your treatment plant processes, permit limits, and performance. We will consult with your staff to set goals in place for process improvement. Our engineering team will then conduct a system-wide analysis using proprietary modelling to determine optimal dosing locations.
In-Pipe will continually put highly efficient bacteria in your system well before the wastewater comes into the plant. The collection system will reach its full potential as a large biological reactor, which can lead to additional plant efficiencies.
3 Key Benefits
Solids can be broken down into more readily biodegradable food sources for the bacteria, reducing important sewer organics by as much as 40%. Also, you can
increase the amount of BOD/COD that is readily biodegradable.
The highly efficient facultative organisms from In-Pipe can use either oxygen or nitrogen as an energy source to consume organics. They will do so much more efficiently than the types of bacteria normally found in untreated wastewater, which results in significantly more of the aerobic and anoxic reactions needed for nutrient removal.
More Nitrification and De-Nitrification reactions begin to occur in the collection system, reducing total influent Nitrogen (TKN).
At the plant, this means that the microbes are able to get access to nutrients more readily because of the organics in the influent. You can dramatically cut or eliminate your addition of carbon at the plant.
The helpful bacteria that are now in the system team up with microbes already in the plant to more efficiently remove both BOD and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which can help you more consistently and reliably meet your discharge targets.
Why In-Pipe works better
With In-Pipe, you’re reducing effluent loads before they even enter into the plant by making your system work harder. We help compliant plants function more efficiently and non-compliant plants to achieve their targets by reducing influent organic loading and effluent pollutant levels.
In-Pipe’s solution is:
In-Pipe provides a natural biological solution that comes from soil, not harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes, pumps and/or treatment plant. This constant inflow of good bacteria builds a stronger microbial community in your plant.
A custom fit
In-Pipe’s solutions are tailored to your specific wastewater treatment system requirements with proprietary blends and advanced dosing technology to optimize treatment efficacy and improved effluent quality.
An innovative service model
In-Pipe’s turnkey program provides a dosing plan that fits your system design, and the company will provide ongoing service for one flat fee.
In-Pipe’s solution will likely cost less than other solutions, especially ones that require chemical and equipment additions or upgrades at the plant.
How one city achieved more efficient plant operations
McHenry, Illinois, a growing community northwest of Chicago, tackled its wastewater permit issues with the help of In-Pipe.
In 2008, the city’s aging wastewater treatment plant was nearing the end of its serviceable life and experienced multiple permit violations related to suspended solids and ammonia nitrogen levels. After negotiations between the City of McHenry and
the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), it was agreed that changes would be made immediately to bring the plant back into compliance. Also, the plant would be replaced by 2018.
An engineering firm working on the new plant design recommended In-Pipe Technology as a way to reduce sludge volume and save money while the new treatment plant was being designed and built. Soon after the In-Pipe program started, plant operators noticed that the good bacteria jump-started the breakdown of contaminants in the collection system, reduced sludge volume and lowered the amount of energy needed for equipment that treats wastewater.
“It helps make the treatment plant more efficient,” said Russell Ruzicka, Treatment Operations Manager for The City of McHenry.
In addition, it has lowered the amount of ferric chloride needed for phosphorus removal. The City of McHenry has had a phosphorus discharge limit of 1.0mg/L since 2006. Before In-Pipe Technology, the plant was dosing ferric chloride at a rate of 7 gallons per hour to achieve the permitted limit. After about a year and a half of IPT treatment, they were able to cut their ferric chloride usage in half and still achieve a discharge limit of 1.0mg/L.
Not only did the plant save $60,000 dollars per year on chemical costs, the plant benefited from lower chemical usage as well. “Ferric chloride is very corrosive and harmful to the metal and the concrete in the treatment plant,” Ruzicka said.
The new Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR) treatment plant is experiencing better than anticipated results when it comes to phosphorus removal, he said. “I believe this can be directly attributed to In-Pipe Technology. In-Pipe turns our collection system into a fermentation zone,” he said. “It produces volatile fatty acids, the preferred food of phosphorus accumulating organisms. In-Pipe helps create the food that these organisms like. They eat the food, grow, reproduce and are carried by the collection system into the plant. They populate the plant and are better equipped to remove the phosphorus that’s coming in.”
“IN-PIPE TURNS OUR COLLECTION SYSTEM INTO A FERMENTATION ZONE.”
- Russell Ruzicka, Treatment Operations Manager, City of McHenry
If you’re facing permit violations or just day-to-day challenges trying to keep your nutrient balance, learn more about In-Pipe’s innovative solution that uses your entire system as a solution.