by Heather Jennings, PE
Generally, in the wastewater industry we talk about 100 mg/L BOD to 5 mg/L Nitrogen to 1 mg/L Phosphorus. The values for nitrogen and phosphorus can be higher or lower than this, but it’s the average number that many wastewater system designs are built around.
If you look a little further, there is another formula used to describe the typical biomass of cells, C12H87O23N12P. This just isn’t all that is needed, though, to build a healthy biomass. Just like how my kids can’t grow healthy on pizza and their favorite blue box of mac and cheese, microbes need additional inorganic nutrients such as potassium, calcium, iron, and chlorine. They also need micronutrients such as molybdenum, cobalt, nickel, and others. This is where many wastewater systems are typically deficient: the micronutrients. What wastewater treatment facility operators often don’t realize is that you can have all the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the world, but without the inorganic and micronutrients you may never be able to truly optimize your system!
The more diversified your influent, the better off you are, but you can still have a system always on the edge of running out. Add chronic toxicity or a mild upset, and you can lose the whole biomass overnight. Our Probiotic Solutions® product, Bio Genesis®, uses a carbon carrier to deliver macro- and micronutrients to the cells. The added bonus is that the carbon carrier we call Micro Carbon Technology® is itself a biostimulant—think energy drink for the microbes—that helps them reduce solids and organics more efficiently than previously possible.
For more information about Bio Genesis, click here.