How Can I Remove Ammonia from My Wastewater Plant and Restore Nitrification?
Operators of wastewater plants, lakes, lagoons, and ponds that suffer from high ammonia levels come to us for solutions. We use microorganisms to oxidize ammonia to nitrate. Our nitrification products are specifically adapted to work with your entire system, taking into account the chemistry you use, any physical limitations of the plant, and the present microorganism population.
How Can I Remove Ammonia From My Wastewater Plant?
Ammonia is found in many places in the environment, including fertilizers, human waste, and
industrial waste (dairy, meat, corn ethanol). Nitrosomonas (AOB), Nitrobacter, and Nitrospira (NOB’s) are chemoautotrophic bacteria that contribute to ammonia and nitrite removal. Ammonia that enters a wastewater plant is oxidized from ammonia to nitrite by Nitrosomonas. Nitrobacter and Nitrospira then oxidize the nitrite to nitrate.
Common doubling times for nitrifiers are 24-48 hours at temperatures of 70°F while most heterotrophic bacteria in the same environment have a typical doubling time of 20-30 minutes.
Why is Nitrifier Growth So Slow?
Chemoautotrophic bacteria use CO2 as their carbon source and oxidation of non-organic material to generate cellular energy. The oxidation of inorganic material does not yield as much energy as the oxidation of organic carbon sources, as performed by heterotrophic bacteria, so nitrifiers have a very slow growth rate within the microbe community in wastewater plants.
Nitrifying bacteria are autotrophs, and use CO2 as the source of carbon for their cellular building material, so they do not contribute to the removal of BOD in the system. However, nitrifying bacteria are important to the system since decrease levels of ammonia to a concentration where heterotrophic bacteria are able to survive.
Although Nitrosomonas, Nitrobacter, and Nitrospira are commonly found in the soil and can easily wash into wastewater plants (WWTPs), many plants lose these bacteria because of environmental conditions, contamination with toxic compounds, low dissolved oxygen, or competition with other microorganisms.
Oh No! I just Lost Nitrification!
We Have a Plan!
- Call or email the Bugman to get more information or to order liquid VitaStim Nitrifiers and possibly VitaStim Polar Blend to help your reseed your system.
- If the water temperature is less then 50°F you may need activated sludge from another plant that is nitrifying nicely. Make sure the other plant does not have problems with filamentous foaming or bulking so you do not introduce a new problem.