To Fully Appreciate Our System's Technology and Implementation Let’s Compare to Today’s Wastewater Treatment Paradigm.
Centralized Municipal Wastewater Treatment
Centralized municipal wastewater systems are “collective” systems designed to treat the wastewater from an entire municipality, county, city, or other community. Typically, as development expands, municipalities install treatment plants. These plants treat wastewater and send the resulting effluent downstream and out of the community. This method of treating and removing water without replacing it potentially depletes community aquifers, streams, and other municipal water sources.
Municipal wastewater treatment systems, including wastewater transportation systems, demand huge capital and labor resources, and sometimes fail to properly treat waste. Building, maintaining, and regularly replacing these resources places huge demands on community coffers. But, as communities grow, they must continue building and maintaining new infrastructure, new resources to handle the load. Unfortunately, even these increased resources sometimes fail to handle growing volumes of wastewater in conjunction with storm water. Overflows occur with some frequency (source, US EPA, 2000). When a municipal wastewater facility is over capacity, operators often have no alternative but to release raw sewage from treatment plants and into waterways and water sources.
Septic Tanks and On-site Wastewater Management
Where wastewater treatment plants are unavailable, traditional septic systems are used.
Little more than holding tanks for waste solids, contaminated effluent from these systems discharge into drain fields, using the earth as a natural filter. Effluent can contaminate community aquifers, wells, streams, and lakes. Larger building lots are needed to accommodate primary and full drain field replacement. Typical drain fields have a life expectancy of around 20 years. The constituents in discharged effluent naturally tend to clog soil creating an impervious barrier. Failures can cause toxic accumulations at ground level or backups in dwellings creating health hazards. Most often, the solution to a failed drain field is costly replacement.
Onsite Alternative Wastewater Treatment Systems
In view of the problems encountered with using septic tanks to handle wastewater, on-site alternative wastewater treatment systems have been proposed in an attempt to cure the deficiencies of septic tanks. Similar to septic tanks, these commercially available on-site alternative wastewater treatment systems use a static or fixed process to treat wastewater. In particular, these on-site alternative treatment systems utilize the same process, every day, at every residence and business to treat wastewater. However, in order to properly treat wastewater generated at a residence or business, a proper biological balance must be maintained. A variable process is needed because the amount of wastewater generated, the times when wastewater is generated and the composition of wastewater generated at a particular residence or business changes daily. When one of these factors changes, the process must also change to accommodate the variations in the flow of wastewater and to properly treat the wastewater. Since on-site alternative treatment systems employ a static or fixed process to treat wastewater, they do not take into consideration these variable characteristics inherent in the treatment of wastewater and, also fail to properly treat wastewater.
Even though the flow of wastewater, the timing of the flow, and the composition of the flow all change daily, the current on-site alternative treatment systems use the same process every day to treat wastewater. For instance, while the wastewater is within these on-site treatment systems, it is either continuously aerated, or aerated at set periodic times, such as every four, eight, or twelve hours, without taking into consideration the amount of wastewater in the system or the population of microorganisms in the system. Therefore, wastewater leaving these on-site alternative systems is typically not sufficiently treated either because it was not aerated for a long enough period of time, or because it was aerated for too long a period of time, which causes the microorganisms in the system to remain suspended in the wastewater as it is discharged from the systems. Thus, the on-site alternative wastewater treatment systems that utilize the continuous-flow method to treat wastewater fail to maintain the correct biological balance needed to properly treat wastewater. Accordingly, a variable process capable of changing daily is needed to accommodate the variations inherent in wastewater treatment which include the rate of flow of wastewater, the timing of the flow of wastewater, and the composition of the wastewater.
Further, many of the on-site alternative wastewater treatment systems require the property owners to perform daily or periodic adjustments to the systems. Such maintenance is expensive and also cumbersome to the property owner, who is typically inexperienced with regard to wastewater treatment.