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Bioaugmentation for the Water Treatment Industry
What is Bioaugmentation?
Bioaugmentation is the practice of adding actively growing, specialised microbial strains to enhance the ability of indigenous biomass to respond to process fluctuations or to degrade certain components, resulting in improved treatment.
Once a system is up and running, efficiency can be boosted by adding microorganisms that degrade target compounds, useful if there are operational control issues in aeration stabilization basins. Bioaugmentation can also improve a plant's stability and accelerate upset recovery as it enables microbial communities to better handle sudden changes that can reduce effluent quality.
When optimising a water treatment system, formulators often look to add more chemicals or build extra steps. However, there is an option to strengthen biological processes as a solution to the problem.
Microbiological processes have been the foundation of water treatment ever since the creation of our planet and are undoubtedly the most sustainable process in the industry.
The benefits of Bioaugmentation
- Enables a cost-effective and fast plant start-up - Helps the native microbes adapt to rapid changes in organic and hydraulic loading during start-up
- Ensures compliance and production continuity - Minimises failures in downstream water treatment secures upstream production and maintains a license to operate
- Postpones CAPEX Maximises performance of “old” treatment plants already running on the verge of design capacity
1. Start-up – The time it takes to get to “steady-state” conditions
2. Efficiency at steady state – Biomass performance during steady conditions
3. Stability - Ability of the biomass to withstand stress and maintain treatment efficiency
4. Upset Recovery – Ability of the biomass to return to steady state after a treatment disruption - Toxic shocks, Organic shock loading, Hydraulic overloading