The microbial method of treating wastewater

One of our clients is one of India’s leading pharmaceuticals companies. Their factory in South India manufactures Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). Most of the manufactured ingredients are antibiotics and the presence of these residues in the wastewater was adding toxic load to the generic microbial population in the biological unit. To make things worse, a number of effluent streams with distinct characteristics coming from the production unit led to frequent plant upsets. They turned to us for a solution to reduce COD levels and stabilize plant performance.

They were already using a microbial culture to treat wastewater in their aeration tanks but it was not proving efficient in reducing the COD load. Our objective was to reduce COD loads, in line with Pollution Control Board (PCB) norms, and to stabilize the biological unit for effective plant performance.

Our recommended solution was CleanMaxx with Bioclean XLR. CleanMaxx is a tailormade, heterogenous consortium of beneficial and robust microbes, isolated from nature. The microbes secrete effective enzymes which are completely natural and safe to humans, plants and animals. Bioclean XLR was also added to the biological system to accelerate the biodegradation process.

Before planning a treatment scheme, it was crucial to perform a treatability study of the effluent sample to understand the wastewater characteristics and devise a treatment regime, specific to the effluent. For this, we employed BioSure, our 15-day laboratory scale trial that confirms the suitability of the bacterial consortium present in our product and their development in the effluent.

After the 15-day trial, we started with bio-augmentation on 10th March, 2014 with a 2-month treatment plan. The appropriate dosage pattern was devised by our implementation team and we ensured the exact dosage was followed by the factory regularly for achieving optimum results.

We observed a gradual reduction in COD levels during the treatment period. More importantly, by the end of the project, our technical team observed an average reduction of 85% in outlet COD, an increase of 27% over the previous treatment regime at the factory.

The COD level was further reduced after tertiary treatment to meet the PCB norms. Odour was totally eliminated from the biological system. The plant was stabilized and, at present, the ETP is working at its peak efficiency.

The best illustration of how well our solution worked is this email we received from the client shortly after.

“We have been using your product CleanMaxx and Bioclean XLR in our ETP, for the past six months and we have observed significant improvement in the performance of our ETP. Discharge from our secondary has improved and observed reduction in COD and total odour elimination. We have a well designed and maintained plant. We welcome this biotechnology approach to the industry.”

What can we say, other than that the customer is always right.