Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT March 2019

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 22 of 39

Getting to Grips with… FOG and bioaugmentation Of the tens of thousands of blockages in UK sewer networks every year, almost three quarters are caused by Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG). Adding selected strains/mixed cultures to wastewater (bioaugmentation) has sometimes been met with cries of 'snake oil' by those in innovation departments frustrated by inconclusive outcomes. Here, we look at the case for bioaugmentation and how it compares to alternatives such as jet washing The Knowledge www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | MARCH 2019 | 23 RAY TAYLOR, CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER, NEXT FILTRATION Q: Firstly, why have some water companies been sceptical about using Enzymes? As with all treatments, any trial needs to be given a fair chance. It's true that enzymes are a catalyst that break up FOG, but smaller molecules of fat can congeal further down the sewer - or their impact reduced by dilution – hence the perception that what at first appeared to have resolved the problem, has reappeared later. Over the years, albeit with good intentions, there has been plenty of dabbling, but faced with such chronic FOG problems and regulator penalties we are at last seeing some commitment Q&A from water companies and their contractors to conduct thorough studies that show how bioaugmentation can bring benefits; not just in one area known for blockages, but at the point of source, and then much further along the network and into the treatment works. Additionally, many water companies have set up successful sewer protection departments to mitigate the impact. Enzymes have also been introduced to enhance the effect of proteins, but in turn this can enhance surfactants that already take a very long time to degrade. Enzymes have a very different effect on fat compared with bacteria; breaking up long chain triglycerides and liquefying

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