Jennifer Cisneros, marketing communications manager at Bio-Microbics, Inc., sat down with Water Online Radio for this live interview from the show floor at WEFTEC 2011 in Los Angeles. Cisneros talked about the history and scope of the company, as well as the benefits of decentralized wastewater treatment systems. Listen or read on to learn more.
Todd Schnick: We are back, broadcasting live from the Los Angeles Convention Center and the tradeshow floor of WEFTEC. I am Todd Schnick, joined by my co-host, Todd Youngblood. Todd, today is just on fire.
Todd Youngblood: I know. The traffic just really suddenly picked up, didn’t it? It was empty there for a little bit, then bam! They must have unlocked the doors or something.
Todd Schnick: I think it only promises to get more exciting as the day progresses. This next guest, though, is going to be a lot of fun. She is the Marketing Communications Manager for Bio-Microbics. Welcome to Water Online Radio, Jennifer Cisneros.
Jennifer: Happy to be here. Thank you.
Todd Schnick: Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you. You and I met last week on Twitter, did we not?
Jennifer: We did. We started following you and just following #WEFTEC and getting involved in the conversations.
Todd Schnick: Yeah, it was good to connect with you there. Before we get into a conversation, Jennifer, why don’t you take a few minutes to tell us about you, your background, and Bio-Microbics?
Jennifer: Well, I’ve been with the company for four years. Bio-Microbics is a manufacturer of decentralized wastewater treatment systems for residential, commercial, and marine properties.
We also have a marine division out of St. Louis, but we’re based out of Shawnee, KS. Just recently, we were recognized by the State of Kansas for the 2011 Kansas Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award.
Todd Schnick: How does a company based out of Kansas have a significant marine division?
Jennifer: We’re a part of Smith & Loveless and the Scienco/FAST Corporation. So we were part of a lot of businesses that were under an umbrella, if you will, of a parent corporation. The president of my company, Bio-Microbics, was also the president of Scienco/FAST, and it just made sense to bring them under our division.
They’ve been in St. Louis since they were known as St. Louis Ship, and that is where FAST systems derived. Scienco was actually part of Morton Salt, at one point in time, in the 1950s and ‘60s. They’ve been developing water treatment systems for years.
They still do that to this day, and it really enhances what Bio-Microbics can offer to our distributors – of not only our land-based systems, but the marine applications as well.
Todd Schnick: Do you find a lot of crossing back and forth, the marine applications to the more “normal” wastewater treatment. Is the technology flipping back and forth?
Jennifer: It’s using pretty much the same process technology with the FAST – it’s Fixed Activated Sludge Treatment. It’s an integrated, fixed treatment technology that uses all the advantages of submerged and fixed air treatment processes.
There are really two processes going on at once, in combination, inside of our system. It gives you all the advantages of both processes, without the disadvantages.
Todd Schnick: Jennifer, you and your colleagues at Bio-Microbics, what do you see as the emerging trends and issues in the water/wastewater industry going into 2012?
Jennifer: Well, we do see a lot of interest in commercial applications. Recently, we were recognized by Frost and Sullivan for technology innovation in decentralized outlets because of our work in overseas markets with commercial properties.
I think that using decentralized treatment systems, even in a municipal setting, you’re able to use the benefits of having the water onsite, pretreating water before it goes to an overloaded municipal plant, or just even having the ability to have water reuse on site. That’s what decentralized systems are available to do.
It’s not just pipe in, pipe out. You’re able to keep the water onsite. It gives you a lot of advantages and benefits. The new trend is the “building green” aspect of it and the water focus.
It’s really not about water conservation. It’s about water renewal and being able to reuse the water once you have it on the site, and then having it available to use over and over. You’re not using your potable water sources as much.
Todd Schnick: Jennifer, a lot of our guests have talked about the economy as something that looms very, very large in their operations today. Does this decentralized capability you have help in that regard?
Jennifer: I think so. More people are finding the advantages to be a better fit for soils and for environmental concerns. When you’re putting a system in near waterways or in the mountains in remote locations, using a system that’s going to actually benefit the environment is really the added plus for them.
Todd Schnick: Jennifer, help Todd and I and the thousands of professionals in the Water Online community better understand the value that you are delivering to your customers by sharing a story about a recent win for one of your customers.
Jennifer: Well, we have many. Really what the focus has been is our new treatment systems. In the past year, we’ve introduced the MyFAST system, which is a large decentralized treatment system for communities that can go up to 160,000 gallon-per-day flows.
But we also have introduced membrane technology. I think that there’s been more of a focus for the newer technologies for membrane use and finding out the advantages of using higher treatment technology.
Todd Schnick: Jennifer, a lot of companies have dramatically cut back their budgets to attend events like this. Obviously, you’re still very committed to it. What value are you providing to your customers by being here at the WEFTEC show?
Jennifer: Well, we have many vendors that are here on the floor that are introducing what’s new, in what we can be able to use, but also being able to establish the relationships that we already have with the people that we do business with. And just seeing what’s available.
We’re always looking to enhance. We have a huge R&D focus for Bio-Microbics and we have a testing facility with our products. So we actually put it into real-world testing before we ever get it out into the marketplace.
To be able to have the ability to bring products to our testing facilities, we can actually be able to find the applications and the benefits for those with our resources.
Todd Schnick: Outstanding. Jennifer, I hate to say we’re out of time. Before we let you go, share with the audience how they can contact Bio-Microbics and learn more about the work that you’re doing.
Todd Schnick: Jennifer Cisneros, it was a pleasure having you. Thank you for joining us.
Jennifer: Thank you so much.