Case study: A bioaugmentation treatment reduces sludge and phosphorus

Oct. 28, 2019
Next Fog Stop alters core metabolism of indigenous bacteria, and its impact equates to a savings on sludge removal at a cheese manufacturer.

Following a 4-month trial, Next Filtration's FOG Stop reduced the cost of sludge disposal at a food producer’s wastewater treatment plant by almost 50% — as well as significantly lowering phosphorus levels.

FOG Stop is a bioaugmentation treatment that alters the core metabolism of indigenous bacteria, and its impact equates to a savings on sludge removal of almost $600 per day.

With phosphorus levels in wastewater effluent such a major issue with the state and federal EPA agencies, cheese manufacturers used aluminum sulfate (alum) to control it. However, in addition to the financial outlay (now removed), this was adding a further 7.532 dry tons of sludge for disposal at the end of the treatment process.

Operating at a mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) level of approximately 8,500 mg/L, the cheese producer’s wastewater treatment facility in the northeastern U.S. typically experienced large variations in its incoming load, including high organic content. Flow and loading at the plant increased by more than 30% from March to June, putting significant pressure on the treatment plant’s capacity.

Likewise, the amount of milk being processed also increased by over 25%. These factors combine to place a greater burden on the facility and will under normal circumstances cause an increase in sludge production. This increase in load received by the wastewater treatment facility can manifest itself in other ways, including lower terminal dissolved oxygen and poorer effluent quality, particularly if the treatment facility is nearing its design capacity.

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