Cheese producer switches to ClariPhos™ coagulant to improve phosphorus removal, eliminate tertiary filtration

DATE POSTED: December 16, 2021

ClariPhos improves MBR performance for cheese producer

Phosphorus removal has never been better for an Ontario cheese producer after switching to ClariPhos™ Rare Earth Coagulant for its onsite membrane bioreactor system. Operators began using ClariPhos in 2019 after experiencing inconsistent results with aluminum sulphate (alum) to achieve a phosphorus limit of less than 1 mg/L.

When the plant was commissioned several years ago, alum was initially added directly to the MBR to precipitate phosphorus in the process tank; however, this resulted in excess foaming, significant swings in pH and frequent upsets to the biological process. A tertiary filtration system was installed at a cost well into six figures, and though the system did alleviate the issues and consistently achieve the target phosphorus limit most of the time, it also significantly increased operating and maintenance costs. The operations team continued searching for a simple, cost-effective solution.

Fast and easy switch to ClariPhos

Bench testing with ClariPhos showed promising results and in the spring of 2019 the plant began full-scale testing. The transition was simple since ClariPhos uses the same chemical feed equipment as alum. Operators simply replaced the tote, flushed the line and set the new, much lower dose rate for ClariPhos. Since one of the objectives was to eliminate the tertiary filtration system, the team decided to add ClariPhos directly to the bioreactor, despite the problems that were experienced with the alum.

Within a few days, the benefits of ClariPhos began to emerge for the operators:

  • Foaming and pH swings were no longer occurring. ClariPhos is about 100 times less acidic than aluminum sulphate, which combined with the lower dose, enables overall system pH to remain close to neutral and avoid process upset.
  • Caustic (NaOH) was no longer needed to balance the acidity of alum, saving the plant thousands of dollars and eliminating the need to store and handle this hazardous chemical.
  • Consistent treatment performance and compliance with the phosphorus limit of < 1 mg/L.
  • Tertiary filtration is no longer needed, eliminating costs of operation and of handling of the secondary sludge wasting process.
  • Reduced coagulant consumption. The ClariPhos dose at the site is consistently four to six times lower than aluminum sulphate.
  • Improved operator safety. ClariPhos is about 100 times less acidic than alternatives, performs at a lower dose rate and often requires no pH adjustment. This means operators can dramatically reduce the volume of chemicals that are stored and handled at a plant.
Watch our video to see faster settling rate and lower sludge production for ClariPhos vs. conventional aluminum- and iron-based alternatives.

Learn more about the advantages of ClariPhos Rare Earth Coagulant for phosphorus removal.

Contact us to talk about switching your phosphorus removal process to ClariPhos.

Bishop Solids Management Solution — Dewatering for all occasions

DATE POSTED: September 3, 2021

We’ve dewatered a lot of stuff over the years.

Everything from ordinary wastewater sludge and excess soil from construction sites, to noxious slurries containing really smelly organics, industrial process wastewater, and even low-level radioactive materials. 

Over that time, we’ve learned a couple of things.

First, that our Bishop Solids Management Solution is extremely versatile. It can be used to collect, dewater and consolidate almost any type of slurry material. 

The second thing is that our Solids Management Solution is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to get the job done. Our passive, gravity-based dewatering system is often compared against more complex, energy-intensive processes such as centrifuges, belt presses, and filter presses. In most cases, we can demonstrate that the Bishop Solids Management Solution can achieve similar or better dewatering performance at a lower cost and using less energy than alternatives. 

The Bishop Solids Management Solution not only retains and consolidates solids, it also provides water treatment—greatly reducing TSS, nutrients and other contaminants of concern. This can be an effective pretreatment step or, depending on regulatory requirements, the filtrate can meet standards for discharge to the environment or even reuse in non-potable applications. 

Start with a simple sludge test

polymer selection

Our process starts by obtaining a sample of the sludge and performing a dewatering test. The test reveals a lot of important information such as the solids concentration of the slurry, the polymer that will provide the best dewatering performance and how much water can potentially be removed. 

We also need to know the approximate volume of sludge to be dewatered. This information, combined with the results from the dewatering test enables our team to calculate the number of Geotube® dewatering containers that will be needed, how large the dewatering cell will be, how much polymer will be needed and of course, how long the project will take. 

What’s your solids management or dewatering challenge?

We have the solution.

Contact us to discuss your solids management needs and learn how simple, low-energy solutions from Bishop Water can help. 

Learn more about the Bishop Solids Management Solution. 

ClariPhos™: A less acidic coagulant that improves phosphorus removal and operator safety

DATE POSTED: May 25, 2021

Aluminum and iron-based coagulants are acidic, which means the more you add for phosphorus reduction, the more likely you are to lower the pH of the wastewater system. Consequently, wastewater plants must have pH adjustment measures in place to protect microbial populations from unfavourable conditions and to ensure the pH of treated effluent complies with discharge regulations. For operators, it means handling dangerous chemicals, more rigorous testing and monitoring, and unfortunately, increased exposure to safety risks when completing those tasks. 

ClariPhos™ Rare Earth Coagulant can dramatically reduce or even eliminate pH swings caused by chemical phosphorus precipitation and help improve operator safety at the same time. This unique, non-hazardous coagulant is up to 100x less acidic than Al- or Fe-based alternatives and can achieve better phosphorus removal with a far lower dose—anywhere from 30 to 70% lower dose, depending on the P removal requirement.  

By simply switching coagulants, operators can gain several health and safety benefits:

  • Lower ClariPhos dose rate enables operators to dramatically lower the volume of coagulant that is stored and handled in the plant.
  • Reduced impact on pH allows operators to decrease or eliminate the use, handling and storage of dangerous pH adjustment chemicals.
  • Non-hazardous, non-toxic rating reduces PPE requirements and the potential for operator injury. 
  • Low ClariPhos freeze temperature (-40°C) permits outdoor storage in totes or bulk tanks
  • Inhibits struvite buildup on pumps and staining of equipment, decreasing maintenance requirements and the associated risks of injury or exposure to pathogens 

ClariPhos also provides significant improvements in phosphorus removal and sludge management. Treatment plants using ClariPhos can: 

  • Achieve P level as low as 0.07 mg/L or better without the need for tertiary filtration 
  • Reduce sludge production by 30 to 50%
  • Improve sludge dewaterability by 40% 

Switching to ClariPhos is easy. In most cases, the existing dosing equipment can be used for ClariPhos. So far, we’ve only encountered one issue—occasionally a smaller pump must be installed to ensure precise control of the low ClariPhos dose rate! 

Learn more about the operational advantages of ClariPhos Rare Earth Coagulant 

Contact us and we’ll show you how much less coagulant and pH adjustment chemical you’ll use by switching to ClariPhos.

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Ammonia discharge limits are tightening up for Canadian mines. Be ready with a BioCord system

DATE POSTED: January 27, 2021

By June 1, 2021 metal and diamond mines in Canada will need to comply with a new lower discharge limit for unionized ammonia. Over 100 mines will be affected by this revision to the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER), which sets a federal effluent limit of 0.5 mg NH3/L. 

To achieve this new regulation, changes may be needed to a mine site’s wastewater treatment system. But the new ammonia target can likely be reached without the need for complex or costly technology upgrades. Many mine sites use simple lagoon systems for wastewater treatment—in part due to their ease of use and low operating costs—and there are upgrade options that can maintain this simplicity and affordability while also improving ammonia removal. 

More nitrifying bacteria = better total ammonia removal

A simple, fixed-film biological treatment system such as Bishop BioCord™ Reactors can dramatically improve total ammonia removal, without significant changes to the way a lagoon is operated. That’s because a BioCord system is designed to enhance the existing lagoon process rather than add another step or sidestream process to the plant. 

Unlike moving-bed or submerged-bed biofilm systems, which require additional tanks or cells, BioCord Reactors can be installed directly into the treatment lagoon to provide a massive surface area on which preferred, naturally occurring bacteria can grow. It’s like a condominium for bacteria; made from densely arranged loops of polymer fibers that are suspended from free-standing frames. This enables BioCord to establish a robust population of nitrifying bacteria that is many times greater than what can be maintained in an ordinary activated sludge lagoon. 

BioCord isn’t limited to upgrades only. This modular system can also form the foundation for new wastewater treatment plants that are designed as lagoons, tanks or even temporary containers. 

Effluent BioCord concentrations running in SBR (sequencing batch reactor) and CSTR (continuous stirred tank reactor) mode.

High oxygen transfer is critical

Each frame is also equipped with a micro-bubble aeration system powered by a low-energy compressor. This design enables the system to achieve high oxygen transfer to the biofilm for a fraction of the capital and operating costs of a typical blower-powered lagoon aeration system.  Oxygen is a critical, and often limiting, parameter for nitrifying bacteria to proliferate, so having high oxygen transfer at a low energy cost is a tremendous advantage. 

Once operational, a BioCord system acclimatizes and adapts to the range of pH, temperature and contaminants that it may experience in the mine’s wastewater lagoon, including high levels of ammonia, nitrogen and cyanide. 

BioCord testing shows that the system can achieve over 99% ammonia reduction in synthetic wastewater concentrations as high as 750 mg/L. Since the system is modular, the system can be sized to meet the required ammonia target and quickly expanded if conditions change. 

Learn more about the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations.

Learn more about BioCord Reactors for high strength wastewater treatment.

Contact us  to discuss your high strength wastewater treatment needs.

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Top 5 things to consider for a lagoon upgrade

DATE POSTED: December 22, 2020

Wastewater lagoons provide simple, reliable and relatively low-cost treatment for small and medium sized communities. In Canada and the US, there are nearly 10,000 municipal lagoon systems and many more when industrial, agricultural and commercial lagoon systems are included. 

But eventually a community needs to improve the treatment capacity and performance of its lagoon system to accommodate growth, meet more stringent regulatory requirements, or both. We’ve compiled a list of important considerations to help you plan a lagoon upgrade that can provide the performance and capacity your community needs at affordable capital and operating costs.

1) Post-lagoon or in-situ treatment process

Moving-bed and submerged-bed systems typically add tanks or in-ground cells to accommodate the new treatment process. Not only does this add to the plant footprint, it also requires additional equipment such as tanks, pipes, pumps and blowers, which can substantially increase capital costs. In-situ systems can be installed directly into the lagoon to enhance treatment capacity without expanding footprint or adding a large amount of supporting equipment. 

2) Energy demand

Blowers can provide lots of air quickly, but the equipment is costly and has high energy demands. Some systems such as MBBR also rely on coarse bubbles from blowers to circulate the carrier media and keep it in suspension, in addition to supplying air to the microbial population. But larger bubbles are also less efficient at transferring oxygen to microbes – much of the air simply bubbles up and out of the process tank. Instead, consider a system that uses low-energy compressors and micro-bubble aeration for significantly higher oxygen transfer and lower, more efficient energy usage. 

3) Ease of operation 

One of the big advantages of wastewater lagoons is that they require little operator attention compared to more advanced mechanical treatment plants. In-situ systems can also share this advantage since they align well with the way wastewater lagoons are typically managed and don’t add complexity or additional processes to manage. 

4) Capital and long-term operating costs

Tanks, media beds, blowers and other equipment can all add capital and operating costs to a lagoon upgrade. Alternatively, in-situ systems use the existing lagoon cell, which can reduce capital costs by as much as 50%. Energy demand for in-situ systems can also be up to 50% lower by eliminating the need to pump wastewater to sidestream process and replacing blowers with low-energy compressors

Installing Bishop BioCord Reactors

5) Customizability 

Like any wastewater system, lagoons can experience variable loading, changing flows, upset and more. Upgrade technologies should be easily adaptable to respond to short- and long-term operating conditions, including anticipated changes to population and regulatory requirements. To achieve this, consider modular systems that can be brought online as needed or easily expanded to accommodate the needs of the community or business. 

BioCord Reactors check all the boxes

BioCord™ Reactors biological nutrient removal gives lagoon operators a simple and efficient way to dramatically increase capacity and performance of a wastewater lagoon or conventional activated sludge plant without expanding footprint. This low-energy, self-regulating process is ideal to help a plant achieve up to 99% ammonia reduction in difficult treatment conditions such as during cold weather or when experiencing high-strength or variable loading. The fixed-film, modular process is like a condominium for bacteria on which preferred, naturally occurring bacteria can thrive. BioCord reactors offer a flexible, modular design that can be customized to fit virtually any secondary treatment process and handle anticipated flow and loading parameters. 

Learn more about BioCord Reactors for lagoon upgrades. 

Contact us to discuss your wastewater treatment plant upgrade. 

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Partial lagoon cleanouts help balance performance and budgets

DATE POSTED: August 28, 2020

If you’re going to clean out a cell or two at your wastewater lagoon, there are circumstances when a partial cleanout might be the best, fastest way to quickly fix an urgent capacity or performance issue until the lagoon is ready for a full desludging.

Partial cleanouts, using the Bishop Solids Management Solution, can most often be completed while the lagoon remains in operation, so there’s no need to decommission the cell or disrupt the process flow. Bishop Water can quickly diagnose lagoon performance issues caused by excess sludge and determine the volume and locations of sludge that should be removed from the cell. 

Once a plan is ready, the team can mobilise a dredge, its mobile polymer conditioning system and prepare a laydown area for Geotube® containers, are used to collect, dewater and consolidate the solids. Or, if the volume of sludge is small, they can be filled and removed inside 30-yard roll off boxes, making transportation and disposal fast and simple.

Partial sludge cleanouts can also become part of an ongoing lagoon maintenance program to ensure optimum performance. Rather than waiting until sludge accumulation reaches a critical level, lagoon operators or Bishop Water technicians can monitor sludge accumulation in the lagoon and when needed, proactively perform a partial cleanout to maintain an optimized level of performance.

Partial lagoon cleanouts have been used by many lagoon operators to achieve operational and economic benefits including: 

  • Quickly restore lost storage and treatment capacity in the lagoon; 
  • Correct flow issues caused by sludge accumulation that create short-circuiting of lagoon flow and reduced retention time; 
  • Defer the cost of a full lagoon cleanout over an extended period of time; 
  • Maximize the capacity and dewatering of each Geotube® container. Partially filled containers can remain onsite for continued filling at the next cleanout interval. They will experience significant volume reduction between fill intervals, which will reduce the number of containers needed as well as hauling and disposal costs.

Learn more about Bishop Solids Management Solutions for partial lagoon cleanouts. 

Contact us to discuss your lagoon clean out needs. 

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Is your treatment plant suffering from washout?


Every wastewater plant can experience washout—a condition where high hydraulic loading causes microorganisms to be flushed out of a treatment cell at a faster rate than they can be replenished. It most often happens during periods of peak sanitary flow or during wet weather and its occurrence may be on the rise as we experience more frequent and severe storms due to climate change. Inflow and infiltration can compound the problem adding more water to the sanitary system and further diluting the treatment process.

Diagnosing washout at your plant

Reducing retention times in primary, secondary and tertiary processes is the most common approach to enable the plant to accommodate the higher hydraulic loading and avoid the need to bypass one or all of the treatment steps. But due to the faster flow, operators may see a decline in the treated effluent quality.

The telling sign of washout is that even after the influent flow returns to normal levels, the quality of treated effluent may continue to suffer for many hours or even days after the event. This lag in performance indicates that a significant portion of the microbiological population has been lost to washout and the remainder is unable to provide adequate nutrient removal. The condition will continue until the microbiological population is re-established to the optimum level. 

Fall washout = winter performance problems

In the warmer months, the microbiological population can rebound fairly quickly. But since temperature plays a major role in the rate of microbiological growth, a washout in the fall or winter can have serious long-term consequences to plant performance, particularly for wastewater lagoons or other plants where secondary treatment occurs outdoors. In these plants, the microbial population may not fully recover until the spring, which means the plant could have to operate at reduced capacity or face compliance issues through the cold-weather period. 

Build a better home for bacteria

Bishop BioCord™ Reactors are a fixed-film technology that can help alleviate the washout problem. BioCord is like a condominium for bacteria, enabling the formation of a robust biofilm with preferred microorganisms that are strongly attached to the growth media and resistant to washout. Even though suspended microorganisms may be lost to washout, microorganisms in the BioCord reactors remain in the system and continue to provide treatment while also helping re-establish suspended bacteria to optimum levels.  

BioCord Reactors can be installed directly into a treatment lagoon. They quickly establish a robust, stable biofilm that is resistant to washout and enhances plant performance in cold-weather conditions. 

The BioCord Reactor system is also designed to provide robust cold-weather performance. BioCord biofilm develops in layers enabling both BOD- and ammonia-reducing bacteria to coexist and thrive. Layering also helps insulate inner microorganisms from cold water to remain active during the winter and continuing to provide nutrient removal. 

Learn more about BioCord Reactors.

Contact us to discuss your concerns about washout and other wastewater treatment needs.

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North Rustico WWTF saves on sludge handling with Bishop Solids Management Solution

DATE POSTED: July 30, 2020

The North Rustico WWTF used to haul away as many as three truckloads of waste sludge per week, which was mostly water and cost the town nearly $50,000 annually. So when the PEI town began planning to replace its aging wastewater treatment plant, one of the top priorities was to implement a simple, economically and environmentally sustainable process for sludge management. 

The result was the island’s first-ever system to incorporate the Bishop Solids Management Solution, with geotextile bags and specially selected polymers to dewater municipal waste sludge. The process also produces composted, stabilized biosolids that are suitable for land application. 

The simple, low-energy approach eliminates costly sludge hauling and enabled the facility to become self-sufficient for sludge management. The success of the project was recognized in 2014 with the Excellence in Water Stewardship Award from the Council of Federation, which is comprised of Canada’s provincial and territorial Premiers.

Read the full case study in Environmental Science and Engineering Magazine. 

Learn more about the Bishop Solids Management Solution for collection and dewatering of process sludge. 

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Bishop Water wins 2020 Water’s Next Award

DATE POSTED: June 19, 2020

We are honored and excited to receive the 2020 Water’s Next award in the category of Projects and Technology: Early Adoption. The award recognizes the use of Bishop BioCord reactors and the benefits of this simple, low-energy system to upgrade the treatment and performance of the wastewater lagoons at the Limoges WWTF.  

This project enables the Nation Municipality to extend the life of its existing wastewater treatment lagoon system and avoid the need to replace it with a costly mechanical treatment plant. Enhanced ammonia removal with BioCord Reactors, in combination with other facility upgrades including screening, grit removal, disk filtration and UV disinfection, allows the Limoges WWTF to alter its operation from intermittent discharge to continuous discharge. With these treatment improvements, the community will be better able to service residential and commercial growth and ensure compliance with treatment regulations. 

BioCord is a simple, easy-to-operate fixed-film treatment process. The BioCord system uses strands of densely arranged loops of polymer fibers suspended from free-standing frames to provide a massive surface area on which preferred, naturally occurring bacteria can grow.

With an optimized BioCord system, wastewater lagoons can accept greater nutrient loading, decrease retention times and improve effluent quality—especially in cold-weather conditions, when treatment typically becomes more difficult for conventional lagoon systems.

Bishop Water CEO Kevin Bossy accepted the award during the Canadian Water Summit, which was presented virtually on June 11. 

Many thanks to the following: 

We are extremely grateful to RV Anderson and Trish Johnson for seeing the benefits of BioCord Reactors for this project, and for working with us to show that this fixed-film treatment technology offers the best technical solution and the best economic value, both on capital and operating costs, to the Nation Municipality. 

Thank you to the Nation Municipality for their vision and leadership in choosing BioCord Reactors and for trusting Bishop Water to deliver the biological treatment portion of this plant upgrade. We won’t let you down. 

Thank you to Water Canada, The Canadian Water and Wastewater Association and to the selection committee. We are also grateful to the category sponsors, Peterborough and Kawarthas Economic Development and Cleantech Commons at Trent University and to Martin Yuill for presenting the award. 

Most of all, thank you to the team at Bishop Water for their outstanding dedication, commitment and hard work — not just for this project — but throughout the entire journey of developing and commercializing BioCord Reactors.

Learn more about BioCord Reactors.

Read the official award announcement from Water Canada

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Bishop Water nominated for 2020 Water’s Next award

DATE POSTED: May 22, 2020

Bishop Water has been selected as a finalist for a 2020 Water’s Next Award in the category of Projects and Technology: Early Adoption. 

The nomination recognizes the use of Bishop BioCord™ Reactors to cost-effectively extend the life of the Limoges Wastewater Treatment Facility in the Nation Municipality near Ottawa, ON. 

This simple, low-energy process enabled the Nation Municipality to avoid the high cost of replacing the lagoons with a complex mechanical treatment plant. 

Sixty BioCord reactors will be installed directly into two new lagoon cells that will be created by dividing a large existing cell. Baffle curtains will also be added into the new cells to direct the flow of wastewater through a channel of BioCord Reactors, increase the retention time and prevent short-circuiting.

This configuration provides significant reductions in capital costs since no increase in lagoon footprint or addition of sidestream process tanks are needed for the BioCord system to enhance the secondary treatment process. BioCord’s modular, scalable design also enables secondary treatment capacity to be easily expanded by simply installing additional reactors to achieve the required performance.

With an optimized BioCord system, wastewater lagoons can accept greater nutrient loading, decrease retention times and improve effluent quality—especially in cold-weather conditions, when treatment typically becomes more difficult for conventional lagoon systems.

Winners will be announced during the Canadian Water Summit virtual event on June 11, 2020 by Water Canada and the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA). More information and tickets are available here.

Wish us luck!

Read our press release about the BioCord project at Limoges WWTF.

Learn more about Bishop BioCord reactors

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