Waste water Treatment Technology for Construction is critical in Africa

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Decentralized waste water treatments, which deal with waste water at the point of generation and disperse it close to the source, have become an attractive water reuse option of recharging the valuable groundwater resources. Once the waste water is treated, it can be used for grey water reuse for that property. Advanced waste water treatment systems have revolutionized methods of dealing with the treatment of sewage on sites where infrastructure and drainage was or is not available and can provide opportunities for water reuse. Recycling waste water can have both major economic and environmental benefits for communities.

Onsite (septic) waste water infrastructure represents about 30 percent of new construction in the rural development in the U.S. market alone and can serve more than 60 million Americans. In African countries, this number easily can double; so these systems are an important part of any country’s permanent waste water infrastructure. Many rural households also use private wells for drinking water. According to the US EPA, failing septic systems may contaminate nearby waters, putting families’ health at risk and costing thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement. There have improvements in sanitation facilities (per the % of population with access), which includes flush/pour flush (to piped sewer systems, septic tanks, pit latrines), ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, pit latrines with slab, and composting toilets., according to WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation (http://www.wssinfo.org/). Those areas are focused in the more northern and more southern African countries.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, onsite waste water management systems are a ‘green technology’ with the ability to recycle treated water to recharge local aquifers or provide the opportunity to reuse onsite. They also have a smaller footprint because most onsite systems are treating smaller amounts of water rather than grinding up non-biological items entering the drains, pumping to move millions of gallons of this wastewater from all different commercial properties, factories, and homes for miles, and treating at a municipal plant further away from the original water sources.

“Reusing treated black water and grey water to subsurface irrigation for landscaped or green areas, wash down for machines and floors, toilet water, or for other non-potable uses can help conserve potable water sources,” said Robert J. Rebori, President of Bio-Microbics, Inc. Other innovative uses for treated water can be used for fire-fighting sprinkler systems, curing concrete in arid desert climates to keep it from cracking, make-up water for cooling towers, etc. “We see the growing interest, education and the need for better water management systems,” Rebori said of the rising interest of sustainable innovations.

As in the installation of a Bio-Microbics MyFAST Sewage Treatment Plant (HS-STP®) at the Los Cabos International Convention Center (ICC) in Mexico, the building was completed in record time to host its first event, the G20 Summit, in the summer of 2012. The 60,000 gallon per day (227 m3/d) wastewater treatment plant, installed below the parking lot, treated the water and irrigated the large 2,700 m2 “Green Wall” wrapped around the façade that naturally cools down the building, thus significantly reducing energy costs. Other water reuse techniques used onsite: irrigating lawn/greenspaces/landscaping, fire suppressant systems, make up water for cooling system, and toilet flushing.

With a worldwide emphasis on environmental concerns and improving water quality, our pre-engineered, pre-packaged, certified, “Fixed Integrated Treatment Technologies” (FITT®) are the result of decades of real world operating history and proven results that offer significant environmental benefits…FITT® for the Purpose Intended.

Technology Performance and Benefits

Developing a number of innovative products, some of which Bio-Microbics has had a number of firsts to its credit and throughout its history: FAST® technology first used and certified for marine applications; first to get certified for residential use and general permitting for Nitrogen Reduction throughout many States; and most recently, the BioBarrier® was the first MBR system to be certified for Water Reuse by NSF International. These systems provide exceptional microbial growth during low, average, and peak usage to promote better sludge manageability and eliminate the typical sludge bulking of lower quality systems to make it easy to maintain and extraordinarily reliable.

BioBarrier® MBR and HSMBR® (High Strength Membrane BioReactor) Systems utilize industry-leading immersed membrane technology for the treatment of wastewater. The MBR technology provides the highest effluent quality at reasonable costs and effectively used for decentralized applications. MBR technology is more effective in treating wastewaters that are challenging for conventional biological treatment systems. With an MBR system, the issue of sludge settleability is replaced by filterability of the sludge.

The “hydraulically driven” BioBarrier® uses a passive aeration and process control technology with the water above the membrane module, typically 2 to 4 feet higher than the height of the membrane module to overcome the transmembrane pressure (TMP), to dramatically improve secondary wastewater treatment applications. On-site applications for the BioBarrier® are simple to design and operate because it does not require external pumps, valves and the associated control system. The BioBarrier® systems are highly space efficient because they operate at increased mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentrations (commonly 8,000- 16,000 mg/l). MBR designs require only 30-50% of the space required for conventional systems designed to meet the same treatment goals. The modular nature of the membrane system allows more efficient phasing of facilities. Membrane modules can be delivered on a “just in time” basis, thereby reducing the need for large and costly initial construction to meet long-term projections.

The interaction between the biological process and the membrane process is the core of the technology. Aeration is a key element in the design and operation of MBRs with multiple objectives such as oxygen transfer for aerobic biodegradation and air-scouring for fouling control of the membranes. With an immersed, active aeration system in the tank and the membranes operate under low-pressure vacuum, the BioBarrier® System allows for reliable permeate flow, eliminates clogging, and delivers exceptional effluent quality in a cost effective and easy to operate system. The MBR filtrate dispersal area is protected by precise process control of quality, quantity, and rate. Even though it takes far less space of expensive property, this area is as permanent as the building itself. No reserve area will ever be needed. Even though the area looks small, it has far more area than is technically required.

Exceeding minimum Nitrogen Reduction Standards for environmentally sensitive areas and lessen the impact of harmful bacteria and viruses, the Bio-Microbics wastewater treatment systems takes all aspects of the treatment into consideration. As such, these systems are ideal for water reuse applications for single-family: multi-family, housing/neighborhood developments, recreational facilities, apartment complexes, military facilities, communities, villages, small municipalities; commercial properties, restaurants, Schools/Universities; RV, camps, mobile home parks, Highway Rest Areas, Office Parks; resort areas, hotels, motels, Country Clubs, golf courses, shopping centers, grocery stores, and food/beverage facilities, among others.

Technology Development Level is beyond Adaptive Use and approved for most areas

A decentralized MBR plant allows communities to remotely treat wastewater to high standards, thereby alleviating the need for expanding centralized sewage systems and long distance pipelines, which can be disruptive and costly. In addition, on-site applications of the MBR system can alleviate the need for a drain field, overcome land constraints, protect ground/surface waters, help conserve natural resources with water reuse, or ideal for environmental sensitive applications. The initial cost of the advanced wastewater treatment system may actually be cheaper than soil-based treatment alternatives. The “build site” process is usually determined by the best soil on the lot being reserved for the septic field. With an advanced system, this practice is meaningless. Finding “better ground” only has meaning for soil based treatment systems. More is needed of the following: industry education, acceptance, regulatory recommendations, and client/customer education, outreach and compliance of the local regulations.

Bio-Microbics, Inc.: In 1996, Bio-Microbics, Inc. was founded by a wastewater conglomerate to commercialize the FAST® Technology, first developed in 1969 for workboats and ships, to treat wastewater for decentralized homes and communities. Today in 2013, Bio-Microbics now has more than 50,000 installations in over 60 countries. Whether in a residential setting or commercial property, these innovative, decentralized treatment systems are designed for new/existing residential developments to high-strength commercial and municipal capabilities.

Jennifer Cisneros

Bio-Microbics, Inc.
8450 Cole Parkway
Shawnee, KS 66227 USA
Ph: 913.422.0707
Fax: 913.422.0808