The microscope is a powerful troubleshooting tool for biological wastewater treatment systems. Microscopic examinations are a critical component of a wastewater system monitoring program. Observations by trained personnel can recognize problems and trends before they become crises. EBS offers several levels of microscopic analyses. Each is accompanied by a complete report with comments and recommendations.
When appropriate, color photographs of the key microorganisms are included. Our still photography and video capabilities allow us to fully document our observations and can serve as valuable training tools for your operations and laboratory personnel.
In addition to extensive microscopic examination and microbiological evaluation capabilities, the EBS laboratory has the capability to conduct all the basic tests needed for routine monitoring of a biological wastewater system. In support of our field studies and treatability work, we have the capability to perform basic wet chemistry testing such as ammonia, phosphorus, chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), pH and nitrate. Most of this testing can also be performed at client sites by our Wastewater Specialists who are located in several cities in the southeastern United States. These analyses provide critical information to numerous clients who rely on EBS as an important “second set of eyes.” We can often get your results back to you the same day we receive the sample if requested.
Respirometry is the technique of continuously monitoring the oxygen uptake of biomass under controlled conditions. It is a powerful tool for evaluating biological processes. At EBS, we are on the cutting edge in the use of respirometry to optimize nutrient and bioaugmentation applications in industrial wastewater treatment systems. We have conducted studies for over forty systems throughout the United States. The results of these studies have been used to improve treatment efficiency and reduce nutrient costs in virtually every case. In addition to nutrient evaluations, our respirometers have been used to conduct biodegradability studies, nitrification testing, toxicity/inhibition screenings, and performance comparisons of commercial biological additives.
A recent addition to our respirometry repertoire is the use of the new BM – Advance Respirometer by Surcis, S. L. of Barcelona, Spain. The BM-Advance Respirometer is a batch type open system respirometer that allows us to add or remove content mid-test. Using the BM-Advance respirometer, kinetic constants such as COD fractions (bCOD, SS, XS, iCOD, S1, X1) that allow us to recommend the optimum operation and design parameters (SRT, HRT, flow rate, toxicity, inhibition, nitrification, and nutrient removal) can be estimated more accurately.
EBS is the United States Distributor for the Surcis line of respirometers including the BM-T+, BM-Advance, and BM-EVO. In addition, EBS will now distribute the Pastel UV Portable Analyzer. The Pastel UV Analyzer measures six parameters (BOD, COD, TSS, TOS, Nitrates, and Surfactants) simultaneously in one minute. This unique feature is not possessed by other units in the market.
The utilization of Molecular Biology is increasingly important in the scope of wastewater treatment. Many plants have fecal coliform limits which are impacted by non-human sources of fecal coliform bacteria. By identifying the source of fecal coliform contamination, the permit exceedances may be explained to the state. In wastewater studies, EBS can monitor for different species of bacteria present in the treatment system and quantify the amount of DNA in a sample from those organisms. Once DNA has been extracted from a water sample, multiple markers can be quantified to categorize the types of bacteria present in that sample and throughout the treatment system. If fecal indicator bacteria concentrations are too high in a system, studies can be designed to track and quantify potential sources of fecal contamination. We can use species-specific markers to differentiate between bacteria that likely come from environmental sources (e.g. plant material) and those that are found in human or animal feces. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) can also be used to detect the presence of human pathogens to assess the risk to public health – another indicator of whether or not there is fecal contamination present.