Extra costs not figured into a company’s expenses can kill a budget, dragging down profits. Just ask a Texas food processor being hit by surcharges due to problems with its wastewater.

The plant, which produces sauces, dressings and ready-to-drink beverages, was incurring more than $600,000 a year in surcharges due to the high soluble concentrations of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in its wastewater. The facility needed a more efficient onsite wastewater treatment program to reduce BOD concentrations.

Chem-Aqua Inc., Irving, Texas, had the solution for them, recommending and installing eight Bio-Amps feeding directly into the pH neutralization tank and an adjacent lift station. The Bio-Amp is an automated system for growing and applying high levels of bacteria that degrade the grease, carbohydrates, oils and other organic matter in wastewater streams.

Combined, the eight units pumped 248 trillion bacteria into the wastewater treatment system every day. By cutting soluble BOD levels in half, Chem-Aqua saved its customer an average of $175,000 in annual surcharges.