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TECHNICAL SERVICE AID:
BioMicrobics_Illinois_MBR_Sizing_BioBarrier_Page_1WASTEWATER & WATER REUSE TECHNOLOGY

 

The BioBarrier® Membrane BioReactor (MBR) is an alternative to both onsite (septic) systems and public sewer. It is important to make sure that service and maintenance are not burdensome to the customer. Because of the increased maintenance needed with the high quaternary ammonium content found in domestic wastewater, Bio-Microbics Illinois size the BioBarrier® module in increments of 250 gallons per day.

This provides long-term performance between the required maintenance servicing at a rate no greater than flow without the presence of quats.

In order to ensure Bio-Microbics Illinois has instituted the following sizing guidelines for the BioBarriers themselves and subsurface clean water dispersal, all new residential BioBarriers will be sized by the following Document: Click Here to Download PDF

Why the BioBarrier® MBR?

Removes virtually all pollutants and bacteria producing recycled water that is safe for human contact. This allows subsurface dispersal of the recycled water that is unique because the soil has no part in the treatment process.

With the BioBarrier MBR, the sizing of the dispersal area is based on engineering criteria for water movement through the soil plus a safety factor alone. This provides a real and permanent alternative to public sewer, unlike ANY soil based treatment system that will eventually clog because of soluble pollution being converted into solid sludge plugging the pores in the soil!

The sizing of utilizing decentralized MBR systems is usually a tiny fraction of that needed for conventional septic systems. Unlike “soil treatment‐based onsite systems” or “Soil Absorption Systems”, there is no need for expansion area for future dispersal because of failed trenches or mounds. Because we are loading the soil with clean water, the range of permeability is greatly expanded; allowing for subsurface dispersal in soils that are normally out of the range of most other types of onsite systems. A public sewer is no longer needed to build when using this permanent wastewater disposal system!

We truly feel that this is the future of water: Wastewater Treatment and Water Recycling!

The 2017 theme for World Water Day is ‘Wastewater’. The Bio-Microbics Team created a video of saying “Better Water. Better World.®” in several languages.

WORLD WATER DAY, held annually on 22 March, focuses attention on the importance of freshwater sources and advocating for the sustainable management of water resources. In 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), it was decided that an international day to celebrate “water” was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly designated the first World Water Day on March 22nd, 1993.

About Bio-Microbics, Inc.: Bio-Microbics, Scienco/FAST, and SeptiTech solve water, wastewater, and stormwater problems. As a global manufacturer of decentralized (land & marine) wastewater treatment systems to help ensure a clean environment and opportunities for water reuse, we work with a GLOBAL DISTRIBUTOR NETWORK in over 70 countries with more than 60,000 installations to provide solutions for residential, community, or commercial properties.

Better Water Management Systems for Architects, Builders & Property Owners, www.BioMicrobics.com, for a Better World

 Illinois is in the forefront of advanced Water/Wastewater Technology

BioMicrobics_1x1_Award

969984_640497492627172_1542663900_nIntroduced to the market to meet the new water recycling regulations with the BioBarrier® MBR, this system has solved many of the most challenging site conditions for Illinois homeowners and commercial property owners.During the Bio-Microbics “World Series of Water”

Distributor Conference held in May 2016 at the factory, Bio-Microbics Illinois Distributor, Kurt Bihler, was inspired for his dealers to hit a milestone, “The 100th BioBarrier® MBR sold in Illinois” and the prize would be the 100th unit itself. Mr. Bihler challenged his dealers to reach to goal prior to the end of the year. Not only did they meet the goal, they did it in less than 5 months!

This challenge represents an effort to adopt more advanced wastewater treatment systems to propel Illinois into the future with better water management systems. In recent months, presentations and educational material have been developed to help explain and formulate the failure rate of a soil-based wastewater treatment system (FYI, it is 14 years for a residential system and 1.3 years for a commercial property based on exact 300 GPD influent characteristics).

Since the adoption of the Illinois Regulations in September of 2015, our approval allowed the system to require only a fraction of the size of the drainfield needed; in most cases, the size is 1/6th to 1/10th the size of conventional Septic Systems. In addition, the discharge does not require additional disinfection prior to discharge to the ground surface while still meeting water quality standards.The immersed membrane technology utilized in the BioBarrier Systems allows for installation into a smaller footprint with both above or below ground tank options. Providing First-In-Class performance and often establishing the material, design, construction and performance requirements for onsite residential and commercial applications, the complete, optimized design of the BioBarrier MBR system dramatically simplifies the settling, screening, direct aeration and ultra-filtration of the wastewater treatment process to remove 99.9% of the contaminants.

Carls_Septic_Service

Carl’s Septic Service, Inc. of Lemont, Illinois, sold the 100th system! We spoke with Kevin Dominick, Carl’s Septic Service, on this auspicious occasion:

“The Team at Carl’s Septic Service is pleased to help reach this milestone for the State of Illinois,” says Kevin Dominick, Carl’s Septic Service. “We see a great opportunity to continue this momentum and keep Illinois at the forefront of bringing better water management systems to our customers.”

Besides being named a Top 3 Septic Tank Service in Naperville, IL by ThreeBestRated.com (https://threebestrated.com/septic-tank-services-in-naperville-il) based on customer reviews, history, ratings, satisfaction, trust, cost and their general excellence, Carl’s Septic Service, Inc. has served many Illinois counties since 1962. Other services include: Septic Tank Pumping, Septic Inspections, Septic Tanks & Systems, and Building/Sewer Contractors.

The 99 systems already installed in Illinois have met some of the most challenging site conditions from a YMCA with minimal land available to a home built on the side of a steep hill. To date, 2,243 BioBarrier MBRs have been shipped worldwide.

ABOUT Bio-Microbics Illinois: With more than 35 years’ experience distributing, installing, operating many variants of wastewater treatment processing units, BihlerTech Inc. is the Bio-Microbics Distributor for Illinois. We provide wastewater treatment plants for residential and commercial properties. Through an Illinois professional dealer network, BihlerTech provides onsite, pre-treatment systems and service of Bio-Microbics® FAST® aerobic wastewater treatment systems and the BioBarrier® membrane bioreactor (MBR) water recycling system. Bio-Microbics Illinois Distributor | Phone: 815-714-8505 | Fax: 866-366-5090 | www.biomicrobicsillinois.com

ABOUT Bio-Microbics, Inc.: As a leading manufacturer of Simple, Low-Cost, Robust wastewater (residential, commercial, & marine), graywater, water recycling, and stormwater treatment systems, Bio-Microbics ensures a clean environment and opportunities for water reuse…FITT® for the Purpose Intended. www.biomicrobics.com

PRINT-READY VERSION:  Illinois Steps Up to Stay in the Forefront of Water Technology

FEATURED SYSTEM: The NSF 350 certified Bio-Microbics® BioBarrier® MBR

 

  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks
  • BioBarrier® MBR installed in Infiltrator® Tanks

With the BioBarrier MBR, the sizing of the dispersal area is based on engineering criteria for water movement through the soil plus a safety factor alone.

  • Removes virtually all pollutants and bacteria producing recycled water that is safe for human contact.
  • Allows subsurface dispersal of the recycled water that is unique because the soil has no part in the treatment process.
  • Provides a real and permanent alternative to public sewer, unlike ANY soil based treatment system that will eventually clog because of soluble pollution being converted into solid sludge plugging the pores in the soil!
  • Sizing of utilizing decentralized MBR systems is usually a tiny fraction of that needed for conventional septic systems.
  • Unlike “soil treatment-based onsite systems” or “Soil Absorption Systems”, there is no need for expansion area for future dispersal because of failed trenches or mounds.

Because we are loading the soil with clean water, the range of permeability is greatly expanded; allowing for subsurface dispersal in soils that are normally out of the range of most other types of onsite systems.

You no longer need public sewer to build when using this permanent wastewater disposal system.

Kurt Bihler: “I’d like to give Sara Heger a Big Gold Star for this article. It sums up nicely what I’ve told people for years.”


Septic Care: Testing for Quats

These salt compounds can accumulate and negatively affect your customers’ septic systems.


A “quat” is a shorthand term for a type of chemical known as a quaternary ammonium compound. Put in the simplest terms, a quat is a complex organic salt compound used for multiple applications. Despite the similarity in naming, a quat is not and does not contain either ammonia or ammonium ion. The name comes from the similar chemical structure to these other molecules.

Where will you find them?                                                                                                        
There are literally hundreds of quats in existence and in common use in home, commercial and industrial products. A review of the ingredients of many products will reveal their presence, if you are familiar with the ingredients list. Unfortunately, most of the time the names given do not include the term quat or quaternary ammonium but instead use complex and lengthy chemical names. The amount of quats has been on the rise in homes and businesses primarily due to the requirement to reduce the use of phosphorus in cleaning products. Initially this seems like a good idea as excess phosphorus in the environment leads to increased algae growth in many water bodies. The problem is that quats can be toxic to the microbes in our septic systems and in the soil. In commercial systems, large amounts of quats can end up in the wastewater stream due to hand dishwashing and toilet cleaning.

Quaternary ammonium salt compounds are commonly used in the following applications:

  1. Antimicrobial disinfectants commonly found in antibacterial soap, toilet bowl cleaner and other household disinfectants. Examples are benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, methylbenzethonium chloride, cetalkonium chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, cetrimonium, cetrimide, dofanium chloride,tetraethylammonium bromide, didecyldimethylammonium chloride, ammonium chloride and domiphen bromide.
  2. Food service establishment sanitizers. Most national restaurants, convenience stores and grocery chains require the use of quat sanitizer.
  3. Surfactants (compounds that make it easier to loosen or dissolve solids into liquids, commonly used in cleaners to release dirt into watery solutions). This includes automatic dishwashing and laundry detergent.
  4. Fabric softeners (both liquid for use in washing machines and the dry form for use in dryer sheets).
  5. Antistatic agents, usually found in shampoos.
  6. Septic tank additives used to control septic odors by killing bacteria. This objective, however, runs counter to the purpose and function of septic tanks (promoting anaerobic bacterial growth).

It is important to note that the quat used in one application will not necessarily be effective in other applications. For example, dryer sheets (sulfur-containing quaternary ammonium salts) will not act as antimicrobials (long alkyl chain quaternary ammonium salts).  A good resource to find the active ingredient in a product is the Department of Health and Human Services Household Products database.

The problem
It is well understood that disinfectants or sanitizers in high concentrations can kill off the good microbes in our septic systems. Quats compounds are very stable and the chemical bonds are difficult to break, so they have a long biocidal effect. Quats are stable water-soluble organic salts and tend not to break down. In fact, they are used as preservatives due to their bactericidal nature and exceptional chemical stability. In a study of RV wastewater, quaternary ammonia was shown to slow down the rate of oxygen uptake by the microorganisms and be toxic to microorganisms (Hindin, 1994).

In anaerobic environments, they have been found to be inhibitory at 5-15 mg/L and in aerobic conditions at 10–30 mg/L for BOD and 2–5 mg/L for nitrification.  Another study by Gross (1987) evaluated the impacts of several chemicals including Lysol, which contains alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, one of the most widely used quats. The purpose was to determine the amounts of specific household chemicals required to destroy bacteria populations in individual domestic septic tanks using both lab and field studies. A Lysol concentration of 5.0 mL/L destroyed the bacteria in the domestic septic tanks. This corresponds to 5.0 gallons of Lysol in a 1,000-gallon septic tank. The bacteria population recovered to its original concentration within approximately 60 hours (2 1/2 days). Although it is unlikely that a property owner would use 5 gallons in a home at one time, the cumulative impact of these chemicals can impact system performance.

Testing
Unlike bleach, quats are odorless and colorless. There are quat test strips that will show if the cleaning products in use contain quats or not and at what concentration. Typically what they will be measuring is benzalkonium chloride, which is used in commercial kitchen sanitation. Most of the test strips are designed for use in sinks to measure concentrations in the range of 200 mg/L, but we are interested in much lower levels. Therefore be sure to get strips that can read down to 5 mg/L, use a Hach kit or have an analysis done at a lab (ASTM Method D5806-95).

Alternatives
The use of quats should be avoided. For in-home use, natural-based cleaners such as baking soda, vinegar and borax are preferred along with limited amounts of chlorine and/or other biodegradable cleaners.

In commercial kitchens, oxidative sanitizers like bleach or iodine are recommended over quaternary ammonia. Another potential option is a botanical disinfectant called Benefect which is on the EPA registered disinfectant list. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down to water and oxygen and does not leave harmful residues. Peroxide sanitizers offer an alternative to more toxic cleaners, because they do not introduce irritating fumes into the air. High-temperature dishwashers may be another alternative to consider along with commercial dishwashers using chlorine. Many national or regional chains will not stop using quats. For these sites, consider the use of NeutraQuat, a QAC neutralizer for wastewater systems.

About the Author
Sara Heger, Ph.D., is an engineer, researcher and instructor in the Onsite Sewage Treatment Program in the Water Resources Center at the University of Minnesota. She presents at many local and national training events regarding the design, installation and management of septic systems and related research. Heger is education chair of the Minnesota Onsite Wastewater Association (MOWA) and the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA), and serves on the NSF International Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems. Send her questions about septic system maintenance and operation by email to kim.peterson@colepublishing.com.

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