Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc and dumped over 20 inches of rain in areas causing major damage to the Texas Gulf Coast region. The torrential rain led to the swelling of rivers, which eventually led to the flooding of an EBS client’s wastewater treatment system. Once the rain, flooding, and winds subsided, the client was faced with the monumental task of returning their wastewater treatment system to normal so they could resume production and get employees back to work.
One of EBS’s core values is Responding at the Speed of Sound. EBS specializes and thrives in the recovery of wastewater treatment systems. And while catastrophic events like this don’t occur often, we welcomed the opportunity to aid in the recovery of a major client that was damaged by Hurricane Harvey. During this time, when many of the client’s employees were displaced from their homes and work, EBS was able to deploy consultants to the client site and provide round-the-clock coverage to assist in restoring the health of the biological system and ensure the entire wastewater treatment system was ready for production to commence.
The local flooding flushed the aerated stabilization basin (ASB) of its bacterial population. While bacteria are naturally occurring in treatment systems, it takes time to reseed the system naturally. To speed up the recovery process and increase the bacterial population more quickly, EBS provided supplemental bacteria the day we arrived to run in the onsite EBS bacterial acceleration chamber (BAC unit). Along with supplying bioaugmentation and related equipment, EBS relied on the eight growth pressures to determine which actions needed to be addressed to restore the ASB’s health. Service visits were conducted for seven consecutive days with samples collected at key locations and analyzed for as many of the eight growth pressures as possible. These include pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, nutrient residuals (ammonia and phosphorus), BOD loading, retention time, toxic or inhibitory compounds, and viability of the bacteria. Data from the daily service visits provided valuable insight into how well the system was recovering and whether the system would be able to respond adequately once production resumed.
With the help of our client, EBS was able to successfully restore the health of the system in time for the planned date to resume normal operation and production. Throughout our time on site, two of the EBS core values were on display with “responding at the speed of sound” and “calm in the middle of the storm” exhibited first hand in this situation.