Many engineers and operators are accustomed to having precise application information when using chemical products in chemical process systems. This is usually not the case with biological systems and biological products like MICROBE-LIFT® IND.
The reason for this is quite simple. Chemicals are non-living things and act in predictable stoichiometric ratios used on molecule for molecule interactions. A good example is pH which is the measure of [H+] ions or [OH–] radicals in solution. To neutralize a solution which is either too acidic or too alkaline requires the addition of the reciprocal ions or radicals which combine in a direct one to one ratio to form water. For example, if a solution of hydrochloric acid, HCl, is added to an alkaline solution of sodium hydroxide, NaOH, the [H+] ions and [OH–} radicals will react to form water with the residual ions to form salt (NaCl) in a predictable, quantifiable reaction.
In biological systems, the dynamics are biochemical as opposed to chemical, and the active agents are living entities. Where one would have to increase the quantity of chemical proportionally to deal with a higher load of reactant, in a biological system the biological additive can grow to help compensate for increased loadings. While small increases in dosage may be required with increased loading, proportional increases are not required. The organisms in MICROBE-LIFT® IND grow in response to higher loads, so that the benefit is multiplied which makes biological additives much more cost effective than chemical additives. It also makes for dosage programs that do not seem to properly compensate for loading changes, as MICROBE-LIFT® IND has in inherent ability to adjust to loading changes.
Bio-augmentation dosage problems typically follow a descending application schedule to accommodate that fact that the benefits of the addition are multiplied. These programs usually involve a “purge” or “inoculation” dosage to establish the required MICROBE-LIFT® IND population quickly.
The “purge” or “inoculation” is followed by an intermediate maintenance dosage to support the development of the required population. Finally, a regular maintenance addition is used to maintain the required population to maintain the biochemical improvements, which have been realized through the “inoculum” and “intermediate maintenance” dosages.
On occasion, when a biological system experiences shock loads, either hydraulic or organic, it may be necessary to return to the “intermediate maintenance” dosages for a week or two to fortify and stabilize the MICROBE-LIFT® IND population.
We have a comprehensive program of application schedules for every application of MICROBE-LIFT® IND : grease traps, septic tanks and industrial biological waste-water treatment systems etc. While they vary in size and level of technology, they are all biological systems that can be benefit from the unique ecosystem in MICROBE-LIFT® IND.
From a chemical standpoint, enzymes are proteins and not living, hence they do not reproduce. All breakdown of waste, which bacteria mediate, is done through the activity of numerous enzymes that they produce. Enzymes can help “jump start”, a biological system, but the overall benefits are limited, since it takes many enzymes to completely breakdown waste. Usually the enzymes wash out or are destroyed and have to be added in relatively large doses to provide an ongoing benefit.
Bacterial Additives – Since these products are in some ways “Intangibles” and a lot of inferior products are on the market, these additives have developed a dubious reputation. Many products available from respected manufacturers represent significant advances in biotechnology. Unfortunately, they suffer from guilt by association with the less reputable manufacturers. While larger companies produce some of the better known brands, one commonly used dry product in particular from a
large consumer products company is nothing more than sodium chloride, better known as table salt.
A good biological additive for a septic tank should have a broad spectrum of aerobic, facultative, and anaerobic bacteria to provide the maximum benefit. Many products contain strictly aerobic bacteria and therefore, offer limited benefit. A healthy bacterial population will produce the full complement of enzymes required for the complete digestion of the waste and eliminate the need for supplementary enzyme addition. This will often involve more than fifty enzymes being produced by the microbial consortia. The advantage of bacterial additives is that they will multiply in the system and reduce the maintenance addition to once every few weeks or even months for the better products.
Often times, these bacterial products are derisively referred to as “superbugs” but in a way, they actually are when compared to the capabilities of most populations. This would be like calling many of the new biotech pharmaceuticals that represent significant advances in technology, “suberbugs”, when they are in fact addressing illness that were previously untreatable.
Many people are advised to add yeast to a septic tank to aid in the function of the tank. While yeast can grow in the tank, they have relatively limited metabolic capabilities and are best at breaking down simple compounds like sugars and certain starches. These compounds rarely present a problem in septic systems.
The septic system is a biological process. Like any living thing, it has certain nutritional requirements to function properly and functions best in a suitable environment. There is a scientific basis for many of the additives, although some require vigilant monitoring and addition. However, the best first step in optimizing the performance of a septic system is to have a complete ecosystem of the organisms required for the most complete breakdown of the waste. Only a few products on the market do this.
While many trade organizations, consumer groups, and state agencies lambaste biological additives, they refute
their claims with little or no evidence, often citing decades old studies performed before many of the newer, more effective products were introduced. They also fail to acknowledge the results that have been obtained in well-documented field studies with biological additives.
When considering the addition of a bacterial additive, look for several things. First, find a product which has the full complement of organisms needed for efficient septic tank operation including aerobes, facultative anaerobes and anaerobes. Second, pick a product from a company, which has been in business and has a track record of successful application of their product and not just a company, which has a lot of marketing dollars to throw into advertising. Third, use a product that is available through septic tank professionals who are the real “experts” when it comes to your septic system. Fourth, read the ingredients! Last, consider the source when you begin reading information. Determine if the provided of the information has their own agenda.