When You Can’t Buy Your Biological System a Heating Blanket

For those of you who live in colder climates, winter temperatures bring a different set of challenges for biological treatment of wastewater. Microorganisms thrive between 77°F and 113°F; but for every 10° drop in temperature, the bacterial growth potential decreases approximately 90%. So, how do you ensure optimal system performance in colder climates?

  1. Increase your Return Activated Sludge (RAS) or decrease Waste Activated Sludge (WAS).
  2. Maintain Dissolved Oxygen (DO) at optimal levels, a minimum of 2 ppm.
  3. Supply hot air or hot water to your wastewater source to maintain an appropriate temperature.
  4. Implement a supplemental bioaugmentation program. Additional bacteria and micronutrients can increase biomass.

In many cases, bioaugmentation through the use of “cold weather” bacteria wastewater is often the most effective and economical approach. These bacteria can grow and function at lower temperatures, as well as target specific types of wastewater. Benefits of this type of treatment include:

  • Improves Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) reduction at low temperatures.
  • Establishes an efficient biomass relatively quickly.
  • Promotes system stability at low temperatures and ensures effluent compliance.
  • Aids biomass in improving cold temperature nitrification.

Incorporating a bioaugmentation program will likely require you to increase your Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and nutrient levels to assist in establishing a healthy biomass, but you are well on your way to efficient operation with a bioaugmentation program.

Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more from one of our Wastewater experts. Stay tuned for our next article Fat, Oil and Grease Caps, Oh My!

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