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Robust cold-weather performance and lower cost make BioCord™ ideal choice for lagoon upgrade in Northern Alberta

Bishop BioCord™ Reactors have been chosen for a unique demonstration project to improve cold-weather biological treatment and effluent quality of the wastewater lagoons serving the Gift Lake Metis Settlement in Northern Alberta. The full-scale project will validate the ability of BioCord’s simple, low-energy treatment process to enhance the removal of ammonia and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in the lagoons during winter conditions and produce effluent that meets regulatory requirements for spring discharge to a nearby creek.

“As part of our assessment of the sewage treatment facility, we identified that the lagoons were not adequately treating the effluent as it progressed from one cell to another,” said Glen Pitt, P.L. (Eng), Principal of TeckEra Consulting. “Several upgrading options were evaluated. Bishop Water was engaged to provide technical guidance to improve the system performance without having to re-construct new lagoons or consider a mechanical treatment plant. The BioCord system was ultimately selected as the most cost effective and practical solution. Their personnel were fantastic to deal with and guided us through the initial testing and analysis phase to preparation of the funding application.”

The easy-to-operate, fixed-film reactors will be installed directly into a facultative lagoon cell while the plant remains in operation. BioCord’s in-situ design eliminates the need to expand the plant footprint or to add costly process infrastructure that post-lagoon or sidestream systems require, such as tanks, pipes, and blowers. Modular components will enable the BioCord system to be expanded as the community grows, which will help keep capital and operating costs aligned with near-term treatment needs and fiscal capacity.

Ammonia removal from wastewater with BioCord
The BioCord media provides a massive surface area on which preferred, naturally occurring bacteria can attach and grow to produce a robust biofilm and improve year-round lagoon performance.

“BioCord Reactors are like a condominium for bacteria that supports a robust biofilm and increases the population of nitrifying bacteria far beyond what can be achieved in an ordinary suspended growth lagoon,” said Kevin Bossy, CEO of Bishop Water Technologies. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the Gift Lake Metis Settlement and TeckEra Consulting on this project and for funding support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to demonstrate BioCord’s cold weather performance and lagoon upgrade capabilities.” The Federation of Canadian Municipality Green Municipal Fund is providing a grant of up to $500,000 to cover up to 80% of eligible project costs.

The Solution:

Plug-and-play BioCord system quickly installed

A Bishop BioCord™ Reactor pilot system was installed to evaluate its ability to improve BOD and ammonia removal in Pond 2 of the facility.

BioCord Reactors are like condominiums for bacteria that dramatically increase biological nutrient removal and require little energy or operator oversight.

The containerized plug-and-play system arrived fully assembled and was quickly installed with only four connections for influent, effluent, overflow and power.

Effluent from Pond 1 was directed to a 3,400L tank in the side stream system. Both Pond 2 and the BioCord system received the same influent for the duration of the pilot test.

After about six weeks of operation, a second 3,400 L BioCord tank, was added to the pilot system to cope with higher than anticipated organic loading.

The Results:

BioCord’s simple, low-energy process achieves high ammonia and BOD removal

Throughout the 14-week pilot test, the BioCord system performed significantly better than Pond 2 for reducing ammonia concentrations and other key treatment parameters such as cBOD, TSS and COD.

Influent and effluent ammonia concentrations in the BioCord Reactor pilot system. Ammonia concentrations from the effluent of Pond 2 are also shown. Influent wastewater was drawn from the outlet of Cell 1 of the facility’s 3-pond system. Water temperatures are plotted on the secondary axis.

Even when the temperature of the wastewater fell as low as 2.8⁰C, BioCord was able to remove 97% of the ammonia. On average, the BioCord Reactor pilot system was able to reduce ammonia concentration in treated effluent to about 13 mg/L, vs. influent concentration of about 38 mg/L.

By comparison, Pond 2 was only able to achieve an average of 2% ammonia reduction during cold conditions, reducing the concentration from an average of 38 mg/L to 37 mg/L, well above the site’s regulated discharge limit of 30 mg/L.

Similarly, the BioCord Reactors significantly reduced cBOD from influent levels that were nearly as high as 75 mg/L to less than 10 mg/L in treated effluent.

Achieving sufficient cBOD removal is an important first step in ammonia reduction since BOD-reducing bacteria and nitrifiers both require oxygen to thrive and treat wastewater.

Full-scale BioCord system keeps costs low and avoids footprint expansion

Unlike alternative approaches that require additional tanks and energy-intensive blowers, a full-scale BioCord system is installed directly into the treatment lagoon, helping to minimize capital costs and eliminating the need to expand plant footprint.

This design, along with low-energy compressors, rather than costly blowers enables a BioCord system to consume about 50% less energy than an MBBR system designed to achieve the same level of nutrient removal. The compressors, combined with an integrated aeration diffuser, provide an opti-mized level of oxygen and mixing to develop a robust, highly efficient biofilm.

A full-scale BioCord system is installed directly into a wastewater lagoon, which minimizes capital cost and avoids expansion of the plant footprint. Baffle curtains enable the most intensive arrangement of BioCord Reactors by forming a raceway that maximizes contact between the biofilm and the wastewater.

BioCord™ Reactors - simple, low-energy, lagoon nutrient removal

BioCord Reactors provide a simple, low-energy, fixed-film biological treatment process to dramatically increase the performance of wastewater lagoons and conventional activated sludge systems for ammonia, BOD and TSS removal.

BioCord Reactors can be installed directly into an existing treatment system, which helps to dramatically reduce capital costs by avoiding expansion to the plant footprint or adding side-stream process tanks.

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