What on earth does treating waste water before putting it back into the environment have to do with rugby men?
We say that they are dirty, disgusting, pathogenic, and pollutant…
The subject often comes up in HTS’Mag: even though they get a bad rap from most of us, a large majority of microorganism species (bacteria, fungi, yeast) are not only harmless but are also crucial to our survival. That is exactly the case for our microbiota(1), the approximately 100,000 billion types of bacteria- more than 400 times the number of stars in our galaxy- we have protecting our bodies!
Let’s get back to the relationship with waste water. « Bacteria are our friends », and most of the time they work without us knowing. They are doing an amazing job keeping our bodies in tip top shape and are helping us out in our food(2), and yes, they also are used to treat waste water.
Bacteria naturally occur everywhere in nature and play such an important role in life on Earth, that without them, it would be nothing more than a huge sickening trash pile: as soon as a dead leaf hits the ground, armies of microorganisms deploy to break it down. The fallen leaf then becomes mold, enriching the soil leaving it more fruitful and ready to give new life to plants that will feed and provide shelter to animals.
When treating industrial waste water, whether it is of domestic or agricultural origin (and it is always a byproduct of human activity), it’s the same thing: a biotreatment contains micro-organisms selected for their capacity to digest organic matter (cosmetic residues, upkeep products, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) and transform them into simple elements (water, gas, and mineral salts) preparing them for a new use in the environment.
Biostimulation: « food supplements » for micro-champions
Our micro-partners are crazy about organic matter (to each their own). They love breaking matter down, and biotreatments via biostimulation can only help them be even more successful in their mission to digest.
A genuine « food supplement » a cocktail made of nutrients, minerals, and trace elements, biotreatments via biostimulation (such as our Actiway, biological activator) boosts the naturally-occurring microorganisms found in the environment (« bacterial flora »). Pumped up and raring to go, they work better than ever under new and improved conditions.
Bioaugmentation: special forces called for backup
As a result of human activity, naturally-occurring bacterial flora can be overrun with the amount of organic matter to break down and encounter difficulties when trying to deal with the mass.
Not to worry: biotreatment solutions via bioaugmentation are here for backup. How so? By providing a supplement of highly-effective selected bacteria that help the natural flora bacteria tackle the degradation of all organic matter.
Not everyone is a rugby man
In the sphere of bioaugmentation, the microorganisms that we choose to « deploy on the battle field » are key: not all microorganisms created equal.
To get the picture, imagine a rugby game in which the opposing team has 15 professional rugby men and another with 15 players randomly chosen off the subway… Can’t you see the massacre? And yet, in both cases the players are human beings! However, the first team is in shape, highly-trained, masters in technique and used to taking a hit, whereas the second team- who certainly have other skills than playing pro-ball! will forever have that match engraved in their memory (and perhaps skin too).
For the microorganisms, it’s quite the same thing: the selected bacteria have a special skill set. The identification and selection of the most powerful microorganisms is an exact science requiring expertise.
Because the active matter in biotreatments come from the Living, the applications are not limited to wastewater treatment. We also use biotreatments, instead of chemical ones, in aquaculture (to maintain water and basin quality), in agriculture (e.g. to treat manure), to depollute soil, and regulate water bodies.
(1) Microbiota: a colony of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and fungi living in an environment (the « microbiome »). Here, the microbiota are the colony of bacteria that host the microbiome, that’s us!
(re)read for more information:
- « The Bacteria on your plate »: https://htsmag.htsbio.com/en/bacteria-on-your-plate/
- « You are host to 100,000 billion bacteria! »: https://htsmag.htsbio.com/en/you-are-host-to-100000-billion-bacteria/