The Powerful Role Of Minuscule Microbes In Effective Wastewater Treatment

In simple terms, wastewater can be defined as all the dirty water released from residential, agricultural, and industrial systems as effluent into the environment. This contains a high amount of hazardous chemicals, toxins, solid particles, organic matter, and sediments. Without proper wastewater treatment, it disturbs the environment as it is highly harmful to humans, animals, and plant ecosystems.

Therefore, the primary objective of the wastewater treatment process is to dispose of the wastewater into the surrounding without causing any damage to human health as well as the environment.

See Also: What Is Biological Wastewater Treatment And How Effective It Is?

The most common type of wastewater treatment involves three distinct steps:

Primary treatment – The primary treatment is carried out to separate solids present from the liquid. It involves the flotation and settlement process which results in clarified effluent which consists of contaminants.

Secondary treatment – The objective of secondary treatment is the further treatment of the effluent from primary treatment to remove the residual organics and suspended solids. In most cases, secondary treatment follows primary treatment and involves the removal of biodegradable dissolved and colloidal organic matter using aerobic biological treatment processes and anaerobic biological treatment processes.

Aerobic biological treatment is performed in the presence of oxygen by aerobic microorganisms that metabolize the organic matter in the wastewater, thereby producing more microorganisms. In the case of anaerobic the microbes grow in absence of oxygen to degrade the organic pollutants which results in methane formation.

Tertiary treatment – The purpose of tertiary treatment is to provide a final treatment stage to further improve the effluent quality before it is discharged to the receiving environment. More than one tertiary treatment process may be used at any treatment plant. This treatment includes sand filtration, filtration over carbon activated carbon filter, reverse osmosis, UV radiation, or disinfection. If disinfection is practiced, it is always the final process. It is also called “effluent polishing”.

The usage of microscopic powerhouse called microbes is one of the most effective ways for secondary treatment of wastewater. Although we associate microbes with various types of diseases and harm, there are good microbes that do more good for the environment and make it healthy and safe. The powerful microbial activity eliminates toxic substances like ammonia, nitrite, and hydrogen sulfide. Multiple types of microbes remove nitrogen and phosphorus which shows that it is very effective in treating wastewater.

Wastewater generally contains a wide range of organic matter and partially digested waste in the secondary treatment stage. The microbes act aggressively to decompose the leftover solid waste after primary treatment and eliminate it completely.

Types of Microbes for Wastewater Treatment

There are mainly three types of microbes that have unique functions in the wastewater treatment and helps in keeping the environment healthy and safe.

Aerobic Bacteria – The aerobic bacterias are used as part of the aeration process where air and water are brought into close contact. Bacterias utilize the oxygen to breakdown waste and contaminants in the wastewater, converting it into a form of energy. Bacteria use this energy to grow and reproduce.

Note that aeration is done mechanically when aerobic bacterias are used.

Some of the most popular aerobic bacteria include Bacillus, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Lactobacillus, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.

Anaerobic Bacteria – The main goal of anaerobic bacteria is breaking down the sludge and reducing its volume. It also reduces the levels of phosphorus. Unlike the aerobic bacteria, the anaerobic bacteria get the required oxygen from its food source and does its job. One of the major highlights of using anaerobic bacteria is the production of methane gas as a result. The biological treatment of wastewater uses extensive energy and therefore, methane gas can be used as an alternate source of energy like biogas.

This is the reason anaerobic bacteria is used more than aerobic bacteria for the treatment process.

The anaerobic bacteria species include Actinomyces, Bifidobacterium, Clostridium, Propionibacterium and Methanobacteriumbryantii.

Facultative microbes – Depending on the environment, facultative bacteria can act both as an aerobic or anaerobic bacterium, although they prefer aerobic conditions. Thus, they are highly capable of degrading all kinds of waste in the treatment process. Eg: – Pseudomonas putida, bacillus subtilis, bacillus megaterium, Bacillus licheniformis.

Effluent treatment plants – ETP’s are set up to treat the wastewater by breaking down the organic matter and remove toxic chemicals from it. The use of powerful microbes is not only superior to physical treatment but cost-effective as well in this regard.

Organica Biotech has developed highly capable biological treatment solutions like Cleanmaxx and Cleanmaxx ANB which are effective for wastewater treatment. Cleanmaxx consists of a highly powerful blend of heterogeneous microbes that can degrade all kinds of pollutants into simple compounds. Micro-encapsulated in powder form, it promotes high biomass generation and accelerates COD/BOD reduction. One of the best features of Cleanmaxx is that it can sense, adapt, and treat aerobically treated wastewater effectively and therefore it is used in a wide spectrum of industries.

Cleanmaxx ANB consists of diverse facultative anaerobes that are used in anaerobic wastewater treatment. It breaks down complex compounds into volatile acids and further into methane and carbon dioxide. The microbes are recognized as safe and efficiently controls foul odour. One of the finest features of Cleanmaxx ANB is that it reduces commissioning time of anaerobic treatment facilities.

The powerful role of minuscule microbes in ineffective wastewater treatment is indeed incredible. The effluent treatment plant owners can use the natural, safe and effective solutions of Cleanmaxx and Cleanmaxx ANB to boost the performance of secondary treatment of wastewater.

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Also read: What Happens To Sewage Sludge At Wastewater Treatment Plants

Also read: How Can Municipal Wastewater Treatment Help In Reducing Water Pollution

Post by Priyanka Khaire