Influence of Bioaugmentation in the Sewer to Improve the Economics of Wastewater Treatment in a Full-Scale System

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The high cost of upgrading a municipal wastewater treatment plant for increased organic capacity or stringent effluent requirements has urged many investigators to examine bioaugmentation as a means to improve the economics of wastewater treatment. A full-scale wastewater treatment plant selected an external bioaugmentation process to continuously add high concentrations of select, facultative, non-pathogenic bacteria. Bacteria are added to the outer reaches of the wastewater collection system in order to grow throughout the surface of the sewer pipes and thereby modify the sewer biofilm; improve the ability of the sewer biofilm to degrade the organic material; and take advantage of the residence time of the wastewater within the sewer to degrade the waste. A comparative study illustrates a correlation of improved operating data to increased metabolism of wastewater characteristics that result in operational performance at the plant by transforming the collection system into an active part of the wastewater treatment process. This report describes the performance metrics, the history and discussion of the plant, and the environmental impacts and plant performance improvements resulting from bioaugmentation.

Keywords: Bacteria; Bioaugmentation; Biofilm; Facultative; Sewer; Treatment Improvement; Wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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