Bioaugmentation has proven to be a highly effective strategy in wastewater treatment. The ability to select specific bacteria for their robustness, digestive efficacy and ability to incorporate into activated sludge flocs allows for precise remediation and much greater control over the composition of activated sludge.
These advances in precision and control of biomass have consistently led to increased plant performance and stability. But as is the case with new biotechnology, these improvements were expensive and difficult to source.
With specialty bacteria cultures now being prepared here in Australia, implementing bioaugmentation for seeding a new system or repopulating a failing system is accessible and affordable.
Repopulating with the right bacteria
When an operational wastewater system experiences signs of failure, it’s usually because the composition of the biomass is no longer optimised to the characteristics of the influent.
Bioaugmentation is highly effective, and now cost efficient, as analysis will indicate the specific bacteria cultures required to restore performance. By introducing a highly concentrated dose of specialised bacteria along with the specific nutrients they require to thrive, the desired bacteria will outperform inefficient resident bacteria, improve the composition of the biomass and restore system performance.
Repopulating through sludge takes longer and is less predictable because sludge contains many strains of bacteria which are already competing with one another. A focused bioaugmentation supplement is more cost-effective than a transplant of diverse bacteria as it provides an immediate solution to a specific problem.
Aside from the efficacy of a customisable and system specific solution, implementing bioaugmentation is simpler and faster when it comes to sourcing, transport and application. The comparatively low cost of bioaugmentation presents a far more attractive option than the costs of hauling activated sludge, the downtime associated with natural recovery or the implications of non-compliance.
Predictably seeding a new system
When starting up a new wastewater system one of the greatest sources of uncertainty, and poor system performance, is in the mismatch between seed sludge and expected influent. There are often variations between expected and actual influent, and similarly there are inconsistencies in the bacterial makeup of seed sludge.
Issues arise with seed sludge when an undesirable strain of bacteria outperforms others as they compete within the biomass. This can result in biomass that isn’t optimised for the characteristics of the influent the system receives which leads to poor performance.
Bioaugmented sludge reduces the uncertainties of starting up a new system by influencing the specific types of bacteria present within the biomass. Seeding a new system with large concentrations of specific high-performing bacteria cultures, instead of a highly diverse sample, ensures that the most-desirable bacteria remain dominant because they face less competition.
Complementing the selection of specific bacteria cultures with biological stimulants and specific nutrients lowers the activation energy required for them to begin cell division. This allows them to rapidly multiply and populate the biomass. A new system seeded through bioaugmentation can be at optimal efficiency in days instead of months.
As with any system, measured and controlled inputs result in predictable outcomes.
A calculated approach to seeding and repopulating
Augmenting your biomass with high-performing specialty bacteria is now not only feasible, but best practice. The benefits of being able to select particular strains of bacteria far outweigh the costs of not doing so, and the means to achieve this are now locally available.
Whether you’re seeding a new system or remediating, you should be eliminating uncertainty and saving time with an augmented approach.
EcoCare Australia specialise in biological wastewater remediation and can customise a specialty bacterial solution to meet your needs. We’ve researched and refined our solutions over the last 20 years and have developed the capacity to fulfil every step of the remediation process. You will interact with one team of experts right through our streamlined process of diagnosis, solution development, delivery and ongoing support.