Keeping Your Eye On The Bugs

Pat Whalen

As the industry’s most common and affordable method, biological treatment lies at the heart of the wastewater cleaning process. Treatment plants harness the power of nature by utilizing organisms that accelerate nutrient removal, eliminating carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

While a cheaper solution than the alternative physical or chemical options, biological treatment is not without its complications. The “bugs,” or microbial organisms introduced to clean the wastewater, can consume more than 50 percent of the energy put into a bioreactor. Also, many odor control issues can be traced back to these bugs.

For years, a given wastewater treatment plant’s biological processes had gone largely unmonitored. Given its ubiquity and the issues it presents, there has long been opportunity to improve and in the last decade, that opportunity has been seized.

LuminUltra Technologies has been at the forefront of biological monitoring and testing for the water industry. By measuring a molecule present in all forms of life known as ATP and analyzing genomes, LuminUltra can provide insight into the biological treatment process.

“Having that additional insight into what the microorganisms are doing in a process can help you root out the cause of odor problems, of energy consumption being just off the charts, even with sludge production by knowing where the biomasses are and what they’re doing,” said Pat Whalen, President and CEO of LuminUltra, during an interview with Water Online Radio.

To hear more about how LuminUltra can improve the biological process and find out what Whalen calls “Star Trek technology,” tune in below.

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