What Is Biological Wastewater Treatment And How Effective It Is?

More Power to Microbes for Biological

Treatment of Wastewater

Approximately 38,300 million litres of sewage is generated daily in the major cities of India as per a recent report from the UN water activity information system. The number is staggering, isn’t it?

If you are thinking from where does such a huge amount of wastewater generate? There are majorly two sources – Industrial waste and Domestic sewage. As both the population of India and Industrial Landscapes is increasing at a phenomenal speed, wastewater volume has also seen an alarming rise.

13,468 MLD of wastewater is generated by industries, of which only 60% is treated. Rapid industrialization has resulted in the generation of huge quantity of wastes, both solid and liquid, in industrial sectors such as sugar, pulp and paper, fruit and food processing, sago/starch, distilleries, dairies, tanneries, slaughterhouses, poultries, etc. These wastes are generally discharged into water bodies, without adequate treatment, and thus become a large source of environmental pollution and health hazard.

Sometimes, wastewater is a by-product of industrial and commercial activities. And this includes highly hazardous chemicals like lead, nickel, zinc, sodium, potassium, pathogens, and organic matter.

Domestic – Simply put, the water used in households, commercial buildings, educational institutions and so on when drains drown the sink comes to be known as domestic or municipal wastewater. 80% of the total water supplied for domestic use gets generated as wastewater.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, Class I cities (498) and Class II (410) towns in the country generate 35,558 and 2,696 MLD of wastewater respectively.

Next time, when you watch the water go down the kitchen sink, toilet, washing machine and bathroom drain know that you are adding to the millions of litres of sewage wastewater.

Now, wastewater containing chemical substances and pathogens can damage the environment, human health, wildlife and plants, if released untreated. Thus, various treatment methodology is used to remove harmful elements from wastewater.

Usually, industries use their own treatment plants to treat wastewater. Municipal wastewater treatment is carried out by the government.

Wastewater treatment process generally contains 3 steps: –

-Primary Treatment
-Secondary Treatment
-Tertiary Treatment

The primary treatment is the process by which solid waste and large objects are removed. The remaining material is then allowed to settle down which enables the rest of the solid to reach the bottom. It is then usually removed and incinerated, buried, treated further or used as fertilizer.

Never mind, the contaminants still exist in wastewater.

What’s left is the liquid which is known as effluent with BOD. BOD or Biological oxygen demand is the amount of oxygen required by the aerobic microbes to perform its function of decomposition in the aquatic environment. Increased level of BOD is harmful to water resources and it is often at elevated levels due to pollutants. This can severely affect the aquatic ecosystem and aquatic life.

This is where secondary treatment of wastewater comes into the picture and so does the biological treatment of wastewater. In simple words, it is primarily a system in which microbes are used to clean the wastewater. These powerful microorganisms break down the organic matter and help in removing the additional contaminants.

Biological wastewater treatment is of two types: Aerobic and Anaerobic. The basic difference between the two is that the aerobic process uses oxygen and anaerobic doesn’t.

There are several technologies used for biological treatment of wastewater like Activated Sludge, Biological Trickling Filters, MBBR, UASB, Aerated lagoons and more to reduce BOD levels and harmful substances.

Aerobic processes use aeration system (oxygen is pumped or splashed in the system containing wastewater) which increases microbial growth in the system. This decomposes the organic matter and leads to the formation of sludge. Gradually, sludge and waste separate from the water leaving clean water behind. In the case of Anaerobic process, the organic matter decomposes to form methane & carbon dioxide.

However, the increased industrialization and release of harmful compounds combined with the use of harmful chemicals for domestic purposes has led to the formation of high organic load. Especially in urban cities with high population density, an enormous amount of wastewater is produced which is beyond the treating capacity of existing treatment plants.

The organic matter in wastewater has increased to a level that the natural ecosystem of microbes is unable to perform their job of decomposition successfully in the secondary treatment process.

This is where more power to microbes is needed.

Organica Biotech has a wide range of customized microbial remediation solutions for the treatment of wastewater from both industrial & domestic sources. Cleanmaxx, Cleanmaxx ANB & Cleanmaxx STP are products that consist of highly aggressive microbes that are capable enough to degrade and decompose high organic loads.

The natural and effective microbes ensure maximum BOD removal from the wastewater and minimum sludge production. Odour issues caused by hydrogen sulphide and ammonia production is neutralized by competing with pathogens and stopping their growth.

It is highly effective in government wastewater treatment projects typically handling urban sewage waters and general wastewater management. No modification of system set up is required to use the Organica’s wastewater treatment solutions.

It is high time that efficient and eco-friendly wastewater treatment solutions like that from Organica Biotech become a common use everywhere. Let’s give more power to microbes for the biological treatment of water!

Post by Akash Singh