What is Bioremediation?
The use of biological agents, such as bacteria or plants, to remove or neutralise contaminants, as in polluted soil or water.
In many cases, bioremediation is less expensive and more sustainable than other remediation alternatives. Biological treatment is a similar approach used to treat wastes including wastewater, industrial waste and solid waste.
Types of Bioremediation Treatments
As much as 70% of bioremediation is classified as biostimulation. This ‘classic’ approach to bioremediation amounts to the controlled delivery of oxygen and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus into soil or groundwater. The manipulation of other environmental factors, such as pH, temperature and site permeability, is also usually involved.
This approach stimulates the growth of the native microbial population, which is always present, even at the most severely contaminated sites, albeit in insufficient quantity to promote significant degradation. Biostimulation is usually most effective when the contamination is simple and straightforward, as it often is in the case of organic contaminants or petroleum hydrocarbons.
The addition of external micro-organisms to a site with contaminated soil and/or groundwater can sometimes show dramatically improved results in cases where biostimulation alone has proven inadequate or ineffective. Sources of microbes can include other sites with similar contamination, bacterial blends based on results from many sites, selectively adapted organisms that are capable of surviving under more difficult conditions or genetically engineered microbes incorporating the most recent developments in recombinant DNA biotechnology.
A recent case dramatises the capability of a bioaugmentation process carried out with proper regard for the contaminant mix. Soil contaminated with slop (waste) oil from a petrochemical operation was found to contain over 240 different hydrocarbon compounds. A mixed bacterial culture was introduced to the site, resulting in 70% degradation, versus only 40% using biostimulation. The differential is accounted for by a dramatically higher micro-organism count resulting from bioaugmentation.
Causes of Poor Water Quality
There are two kinds of aquatic pollution: insoluble and soluble.
Lakes accumulate solids from dead plants and animal wastes. Soluble pollutants, from fertilizers, erosion and septage, add phosphorus and nitrogen — nutrients for algae and weeds. The plants convert, by photosynthesis, inorganic carbon dioxide into organic material. Dead plants form organic sludge, the accumulation of which results in oxygen depletion and release of noxious pollutants such as ammonia and hydrogen sulphide. Phosphorus is also liberated for reuse by plants. Oxygen can be reduced to levels causing fish kills. The stress caused by poor water quality also reduces fish growth and makes them more susceptible to diseases.
Natural water quality improvement is largely dependent on teams of beneficial microorganisms. One group starts a process, which is continued by others. It has been shown in scientific research that, even in natural lakes, essential members of these microbial teams are not always present.
This explains, in part, the natural aging of lakes and the too often observed phenomenon of proliferation of algae and weeds. Regular use of ECOPROBIOTICS® assures the presence of an optimal microbial community to improve water quality.
Benefits of ECOPROBIOTICS®
The ECOPROBIOTICS® added to your lake digest both the solid and soluble pollution:
Reduce soluble phosphorus
Channel nutrients to faunal food web
Facilitate lake oxygenation
Eliminate causes of noxious odours
Biologically digest organic deposits
Convert wastes into natural fish food
The Natural Solution when only the best will do
Treatment with the ECOPROBIOTICS®
Lake health management or restoration starts by carefully defining specific biological and physico-chemical parameters within your lake.
Ask your authorized Enviro-Lab representative to provide you with the Lake Health Evaluation questionnaire, which is designed to provide information on the condition of your lake as well as the treatment goals.
If you require assistance in completing the form we can provide you with technical advice. This information will allow us to plan the best and most cost-effective treatment for your lake.
The general dose rate is about 1 ppm of ECOPROBIOTICS® based on lake volume. The dose rate can be doubled for the first three weeks to accelerate the start-up of the enhanced biological processes.