Food plant wastewater is a constant concern for food & beverage plant operators. With many municipalities seeking to plug budget deficits or deal with rising energy costs, higher user fees are being considered or implemented across the country.
That’s not to mention the green movement, wherein just being able to say you wash less pollutants down the drain scores important points with consumers – and your own corporate sustainability officers.
Fortunately, new treatment technologies are on the way to reduce surcharges, improve the environment and, in some cases, create some usable energy in the process.
BioAmp from EcoBionics is a pretreatment system that focuses on biological (or biochemical) oxygen demand (BOD), an indirect measure of the amount of oxygen that will be removed from the water stream as bacteria consume the food products left in it.
The BioAmp unit meters up to 31 trillion live bacteria into wastewater every 24 hours. The bacteria consume the organic carbon sources – primarily sugars – plus fat, oil and grease in the wastewater before your municipal treatment plant measures the BOD of your waste for surcharges.
BioAmp is a small, cabinet-contained unit with stored, dormant bacteria in the form of pellets. It mixes the seed bacteria with their food source (nitrogen and phosphorus) until they begin propagating. It then meters them into wastewater collection systems in your plant.
With a minimum two hours of reaction time (four to six hours is ideal), the bacteria will eat enough waste in the wastewater to reduce the BOD demand before the wastewater reaches the municipal treatment facility.
The unit needs to be serviced – essentially, the seed bacteria replenished – about once a month. “The unit can pay for itself in surcharge reductions,” claims Glenn Cramer, technical sales manager.
Clean Water Technology Inc. offers a number of waste treatment technologies, most focusing on solid/liquid separation processes. “Our patented technologies [include] mixing flocculation and flotation, cutting-edge biological reduction technologies and wastewater system peripherals, which include screen filtration units and automated chemical delivery systems,” the company states.
One CWT technology is the Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR), which consists of thousands of polyethylene biofilm carriers operating in mixed motion within an aerated wastewater treatment process.
When communities of microorganisms grow on surfaces, they are called biofilms or biocarriers. Every biofilm carrier adds to productivity by providing an active surface area, which sustains bacteria within protected cells. This high-density population of bacteria creates the biodegradation within the system.