Technology trials at wastewater treatment plant

BiOWiSH Technologies
Tuesday, 28 July, 2009

Council trialling enzyme-based approach

Over the past eight months, Bathurst Regional Council has been conducting a trial of a new technology that promises to offer significant improvements in energy consumption and the production of biosolids from sewage treatment.

The technology could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment operations and decrease the volume of biosolids produced.

The Bathurst Regional Council has offered its sewage treatment plant over several decades to participate in trials that have assisted the wastewater industry to develop new plant designs and technologies.

Bathurst Regional Council Manager - Water & Waste Authority David Swan explained that the work done at the Bathurst plant over the years has given rise to a design of sewage treatment plant known as the 'Bathurst Box', which is now widely adopted in Australia and overseas. Swan said that the adoption of this new technology, which could reduce energy cost and therefore greenhouse gas emissions as well as biosolids, would be an extremely good innovation for the wastewater industry, regional councils and the environment.

BiOWiSH Technologies has been participating in trials with Bathurst Regional Council with an enzyme-based approach to wastewater treatment.

Using high-speed enzymes that were discovered in natural mangrove environments, the technology claims to reduce the reliance on bacteria and other microorganisms to break down sewage and reduce nutrient levels prior to discharge into the environment. This will result in lower energy requirement for aeration of the wastewater and a reduction in the final biosolids produced through the process of sewage treatment. There is also a benefit of lower odour emissions, thereby improving conditions for local residents.

BiOWiSH Technologies Chief Executive Officer Rod Vautier explained that a technology such as this will assist the environment, wastewater treatment industry and governments in many ways.

“Any contribution today to reduce energy consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions is highly valuable and the adoption of this technology offers the potential for reductions in electricity for aeration of up to 50%,” he said.

The BiOWiSH enzymes rapidly break down the waste matter and therefore less biosolid material is theoretically produced in the plant. The beauty of this technology is that it can be applied to any existing biological treatment plant at low cost; and in the developing world, it could offer the potential to meet growing capacity needs without increasing capital expenditure.

Swan added that early indications have proved very encouraging with the strength of the sewage being reduced by up to 83% and the solids by up to 90% prior to entering the aeration chamber for traditional biological treatment. This should translate to substantial energy reductions and potential plant capacity increases without the requirement for significant capital equipment.

Further trial work is to be considered for later this year to verify the actual reductions in aeration energy and final biosolids production.

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