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Earlier in this article series, we touched on how bioaugmentation treatments for wastewater have been around for 50+ years to help resolve toxic upsets. We also explored how Bacillus, a certain genus of bacteria that can be used in microbial treatments, are resilient to oxidizers.

Today, we’ll examine how Bacillus are resistant to another powerful but non-oxidizing anti-microbial: Quats.

What are Quats?

Quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC, also referred to as “Quats”) are potent disinfectant ingredients found in both household and industrial cleaners. Some common examples are benzalkonium chlorides (BAC, BZK, BKC), alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides (ADBAC) and several other compounds identified by the words ‘ammonium chloride’ at the end of their names.

How They Work

Quats kill bacteria by puncturing or disorganizing the cell membrane, leading to interior component leakage and ultimately cell death. The use of Quats is especially common in food processing plants as tools for combating bacterial growth and contamination in the end-product. While this is effective for facility sanitization, it can potentially lead to problems in wastewater systems as they depend upon their inherent microbial community to function properly.

Effects in Wastewater

When a toxic substance like a Quat enters a wastewater system, it can drastically alter the microbial community, having a potentially major negative impact on the entire system. The main job of bacteria in wastewater is to digest organic material and remove it from the water. If a large portion of the bacterial population is wiped out by Quats, it can dramatically slow treatment, leading to disfunction and costly recovery expenses.

Resolving Toxic Upsets

To help resolve toxic upsets, wastewater facilities can treat their systems through bioaugmentation with Bacillus. Some Bacillus strains can survive high levels of Quats as well as degrade some quats into less toxic compounds. Additionally, some Bacillus can produce an enzyme called amine oxalase that gives them the ability to cleave Quats into smaller compounds with a much lower level of toxicity. The whole microbial community is involved in getting the wastewater environment back to where it was prior to an upset and the presence of Bacillus can give the system the kickstart it needs. The below experiment (Figure 1) illustrates the recovery that’s possible with our Bacillus-based treatment Biotifx®. In the untreated wastewater sample containing Quats, the microbial community struggled to grow. The Biotifx treated community recovered quickly resulting in minimal performance interruption. Figure 1: Bacterial growth in wastewater challenged with varying levels of Quats with and without Biotifx treatment. For more information about our Biotifx products and distribution program, contact us and one of our wastewater experts will reach out to you. [post_title] => Resolving Toxic Upsets: Quats in Wastewater [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => resolving-toxic-upsets-quats-in-wastewater [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-10-15 11:32:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-10-15 16:32:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.mdgbio.com/?p=6246 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
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News

Resolving Toxic Upsets: Quats in Wastewater

  • MDG
  • October 15, 2020
Earlier in this article series, we touched on how bioaugmentation treatments for wastewater have been around for 50+ years to help resolve toxic upsets. We also explored how Bacillus, a certain genus of bacteria that can be used in microbial treatments, are resilient to oxidizers. Today, we’ll examine how Bacillus are resistant to another powerful but non-oxidizing anti-microbial: Quats. What are Quats? Quaternary ammonium compounds
-READ MORE-

Winter Wastewater Treatment: Don’t Leave Your Customers Out in the Cold

  • MDG
  • September 24, 2020
When distributors participate in our Biotifx® program, they become armed with the knowledge and confidence they need to support their customers with superior microbial wastewater treatments – even during the winter months. The program includes onsite training, straightforward product application guides and tools, even an on-site technical service rep if/whenever needed. And cool products too. Help Improve Cold Weather Performance A few
-READ MORE-

Optimizing WAS Holding Systems

  • MDG
  • September 18, 2020
Before we walk through how to help your customers optimize their WAS holding systems, it's important to understand how they work. How does a WAS Holding System work? Waste Activated Sludge (WAS) holding systems are a common part of operations in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). A WAS holding system, typically in the form of a sludge tank or lagoon, holds sludge after it has been wasted or removed from a clarifier. WAS systems may have
-READ MORE-

What’s Inside a Bio-Enzymatic Cleaner?

  • MDG
  • September 16, 2020
With environmentally friendly cleaners continuing to trend, more and more chemical manufacturers want to know – what’s inside a bio-enzymatic cleaner? In this article, we’ll walk through some of the common building blocks within formulations. Not all ingredients are essential for every product as it depends upon the application, but by understanding each element, you’ll know what you may want to request when discussing products
-READ MORE-

Are You Offering a Bacillus RV Septic Treatment?

  • MDG
With social distancing still the norm, outdoor activities like RV camping are providing much needed freedom from indoor seclusion. While campfires, cooking outdoors, hiking and going wherever the road takes you are everyone’s favorite – sleeping in an RV with a smelly toilet isn’t! As a cleaning solutions manufacturer and/or distributor, you may know that there are three main types of RV septic tank treatments on the market:
-READ MORE-

Wastewater Treatment Mistakes You’ll Never Make Again

  • MDG
  • August 18, 2020
When selling microbial products and programs, you’ll inevitably encounter a customer that says, “I’ve tried something like that before and it didn’t work”. This kind of experience often links back to one of four common mistakes that were made prior to or during treatment. In this guide, we’ll go over these mistakes and how you as a distributor can avoid making them by choosing a microbial solution and partner that gives you the
-READ MORE-

Under the Microscope, MDG’s Safety Coordinator: JENNIFER PEZALL

  • MDG
  • August 4, 2020
MDG’s Lead Safety Coordinator, she protects the team from the unexpected. From raising awareness around key workplace accidents to researching the latest PPE, we all feel safer with Jennifer around! What drew you to Microbial Discovery Group? The company’s core mission to Feed, Clean and Save the world is what initially caught my interest. Once I walked through the doors, the tight-knit family feel and the desire from upper
-READ MORE-

SporActiv® New Water-Soluble Film: Makes Treatment Easy and Safe

  • MDG
As more and more people are working remotely, their sewage and septic systems are being put to the test. We’ve written recent articles highlighting the potential for backups and the various items that shouldn't be making their ways into your septic tank. Good news, we’ve also touched on the strength of biological treatments. MDG manufactures pre-measured and easy-to-use septic tank pouches that work hard well after application to continue
-READ MORE-

Are you over-preserving?

  • MDG
  • June 24, 2020
Many of us know what happens when you mistakenly under-preserve a biological product: the bottles start to bulge or suck-in (the latter can also be caused by fragrance issues), fungal growth starts to appear or it starts to have an unpleasant odor. But do you know what signs to look for if your product is over-preserved? There is usually one noticeable sign of an over-preserved product: the customers who were consistently using your product
-READ MORE-

Bacillus Resilience to Oxidizers

  • MDG
  • June 18, 2020
For many of us, our day-to-day lives have changed quite a bit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. We learned how to work from home, physically distance, use Zoom, cook homemade meals and use lots and lots of sanitizers and disinfectants. With the increased usage of these powerful cleaning supplies and washing them down drains, wastewater facilities are challenged with keeping their system’s natural ecology in balance. In our
-READ MORE-
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