FAQ May 2020

  • Tom Sanders
  • May 16, 2020

Common FAQ’s From the Field


I’ve started treating with bioaugmentation. How quickly will things start happening?

Assuming conditions (pH, temperature, nutrients, etc.) remain acceptable for microbial growth, you can expect to start seeing results in 2-8 weeks from the beginning of treatment. Typical factors that affect timing are hydraulic and solids retention time, the severity of the issues, and ability to accurately measure results. More specifically –

  • H2S & Odors: These are commonly some of the first impacted. Generally, you’ll see improvements within 2-4 weeks, but positive effects have happened as quickly as one day. Severe applications with long retention times may take as long as 6 weeks. If we do not see any results in 4 weeks, we may start investigating treatment.
  • Sludge: Sludge reduction occurs quickly in aerated environments, anywhere from a few days to weeks to see a significant effect. When aeration is limited, or there is a lot of sludge/work to do, the reduction can take weeks to months. The minimum trail duration for lagoon dredging should be three months to show more complete results.
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG): Due to its nature, FOG digestion requires our Bacillus to produce the correct lipase enzymes and multiply with enough retention time. That being said, we typically see a reduction in FOG in days to weeks.

Why do we need to continue dosing?

There is a misconception in wastewater systems that they become seeded with microorganisms and once bacteria start growing they keep growing indefinitely. That is not what happens. Systems are continually being seeded with bacteria from the environment and the influent wastewater. If you stop seeding with bioaugmentation products like Biotifx®, the Bacillus will remain in the system for some time but eventually work their way out. This happens as sludge is wasted, effluent is discharged, and other bacteria continue to enter or seed the system.
Depending on the solid’s retention time (and to lesser extent hydraulic retention time) in a matter of 7-60 days of when treatment ends, the community will revert, and your problems will reappear.
When planning, our team will help with the heavy lifting. We will pinpoint how much and how frequently to dose for the desired effect.

Do they work anaerobically?

Absolutely! Our Biotifx® products contain strains of Bacillus bacteria that are facultative, meaning they can thrive with or without oxygen as well as positive or negative ORP. Aerobically they use the oxygen, while in anaerobic conditions, they use alternative energy sources such as nitrate, carbonate, and more.

Why do we need to dose upstream?

There are two main reasons for dosing upstream:

  1. Retention time: You will gain the most time possible for biology to do work. Bacteria need time to get up and get going. If we treat upstream of a challenging location, we’re giving them the time they need to grow, multiply, and get to work.
  2. Treating the source of the problem: No Band-Aid fixes here! If you don’t dose ahead of the issue, you might be just masking the symptom rather than fixing the cause. For example, if you have a stinky lift station, it is almost guaranteed that the cause of this odor is coming from somewhere else and nearly collecting in one location. By treating upstream of the effected lift station, we can fix the issue before it gets to the one location.

How is this any different from an enzyme product?

There are four main differences between enzyme and bioaugmentation products:

  1. Enzymes are very selective and only work with a specific substrate. Bacteria can sense their environment and produce many different enzymes depending on the available food source. Think of them as a one-stop-shop for enzyme production!
  2. Enzymes break up substrates into pieces while bacteria digest them, removing it from the system entirely.
  3. Enzymes do not regenerate, so once they are used, they are gone. Because they are living, bacteria continuously generate more enzyme as needed.
  4. Our entire line of Biotifx® products include a micronutrient package that allows for the whole microbial population to flourish. Enzymes do not enhance the efficiency of a system.