Yesterday we saw the pain points of Sewage Treatment Plants (read the blog here). Today let us examine the solutions.
SOLUTIONS TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS
Most STPs underperform due to a combination of internal and external challenges. Bio-cultures and nutrients developed so far to enhance STP performance have failed to address the above problems collectively and hence they have not delivered consistent results.
Bio-Cultures: These are specific bacteria cultures that are added to the aeration tank to boost the population of beneficial bacteria. Such bio-cultures have limited success as they find it difficult to survive when high concentration of oils/fats and carbohydrates enter the system. Further, as bio-cultures are applied only in the aeration tank, problems such as sludge build-up in collection tank and odour in STP area continue to remain
Nutrients: Nutrients targeted to improve beneficial microbe population also have not been successful as they also invariably aid in growth of unwanted organisms that affect settling, increase nitrification and also sometimes result in fibrous floating particles in settling tank.
THE NEW DIRECTION
It is clear that bacterial cultures or nutrients are not a solution to solve the problems of STPs. Any solution must start working at breaking down the organics including fats/oils right from the incoming stage and then they should boost the performance of beneficial microbes in the aeration stage. This way, the issues at Collection Tank stage will be resolved and there will be no carry over of heavy organic loads into the aeration tank. The solution must also be robust enough to sustain its function into the aeration stage and boost the population of beneficial microbes there.
This understanding has now helped companies come out with multi-functional bio-chemicals that not only break down heavy carbohydrates and fats/oils but they also have a unique consortium of beneficial microbes that carry on their work into aeration systems also. These bio-solutions are added at the earliest stage of the STP so that they break-down the organic loads even before they enter the aeration stage. This results in preventing sludge accumulation and the microbes present in the solution neutralize odour causing pathogenic bacteria in the collection stage itself.
Odour from STP area is therefore totally eliminated and the performance of STP is greatly enhanced. The treated water is clear, odour free, pathogen free and conforms to reuse norms. This new generation formula has now opened many interesting possibilities too such as
- The possibility to increase the processing capacity of existing STPs which would mean significant saving in capital costs as one could avoid erection of additional STPs
- Possibility to reuse sewage water for industrial purposes, cooling tower treatment with minimal additional processing
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