A Florida ice cream plant needed to reduce soluble biological oxygen demand concentrations in its wastewater.
The facility had an average flow rate of 30,000 gal/day and was incurring regular wastewater surcharges from the local municipality. The ice cream maker asked water treatment specialist Chem-Aqua in Irving, Texas, for a solution.
The plant installed two Eco Bionics Bio-Amp units feeding directly into the pH neutralization tank. The Bio-Amp is an automated system for economically growing and applying high levels of bacteria that degrade carbohydrates, grease, oils and other organic matter in wastewater streams. The two units combined were set to pump 62 trillion live bacteria into the wastewater treatment system every day. The system reduced mean BOD wastewater levels by 24 percent, saving the ice cream plant an average of $30,000 in annual surcharges.
The growth vessel inside the Bio-Amp unit automatically fills with water and Free-Flow tablets containing nutrients and bacterial strains selected for their ability to digest specific matter. At the end of a 24-hour growth cycle, the highly concentrated active bacteria automatically discharge to the wastewater and begin work digesting organic matter. Once the growth vessel is emptied, the process is repeated.
According to Chem-Aqua, the biological approach eliminates the hazards associated with dangerous acid- or caustic-based cleaners. Also, unlike solvent- or enzyme-based drain cleaners that liquefy grease and send it down the line, which may cause later problems, the Bio-Amp unit’s live bacteria actually eliminate grease and oil by digesting it.
The system is cost-effective because it delivers trillions of live bacteria every 24 hours at one-tenth the cost of commercially available bacteria, Chem-Aqua says.
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