Startup of a Membrane Reactor

Mechanical WWTP .06 MGD

National parks attract millions of visitors each year. Increasing seasonal traffic experienced by these establishments can overload the wastewater treatment infrastructure leading to treatment inefficiency and, eventually, structural replacement.

When starting up a new plant, seeding with a healthy biomass is vital for instilling long-term treatment efficiency. The following case study outlines the startup of a membrane reactor (MBR) with Probiotic Scrubber® II (PBII) and small amounts of activated sludge.

Figure 1. Fully installed and operating Kubota MBR System. https://

A national park in Wyoming was installing a new 0.06 MGD Kubota manufactured MBR system (Figure 1) to replace their old and overloaded conventional activated sludge (CAS) plant. The quantity of wastewater processed by the CAS plant continually increased each tourist season, May to October. The high flows generated by the transient populations at the park frequently overwhelmed the facility.

Specifically, during the summer, the mechanical plant received flows which well exceeded the small system’s treatment capacity. Because the volume of influent delivered to the CAS facility was beyond design specifications, the effluent quality was declining, and the facility operators were concerned with meeting their NPDES permit limits.

Figure 2. System diagrams comparing the treatment components of a CAS and MBR. The Kubota MBR does not require a secondary clarifier. MBR systems have greater treatment capacities with much smaller footprints.

The plant management decided their infrastructure needed to be replaced with a system which could handle higher flows (Figure 2). Designing and building the new MBR facility would take a minimum of two years. During that time, the current plant was required to meet permit limits.

The Utilities Supervisor at the Park contacted BioLynceus® to design a bioaugmentation plan to improve the biological treatment efficiency of their old system. The Park used PBII at their facility while the new MBR was constructed. PBII provided the biology needed to process high flows and keep the plant within permit compliance.

When the time came to startup the MBR facility, the management at the plant decided to use a combination of PBII and activated sludge to seed the reactor. Maintaining a high treatment efficiency was essential when starting up the new plant, so they opted to add PBII into the system from the beginning.

By adding BioLynceus® product, the plant reduced their sludge hauling costs, because they needed less activated sludge to start the reactor.

From startup, the MBR system was properly processing influent wastewater. Seeding the reactor with PBII was financially beneficial for the Park and helped to instill a biomass that promoted efficient treatment in their new system.

BioLynceus® ProBiotic Scrubber® II provides an effective biomass for MBR startup.

More Articles in This Category

Bioaugmentation Improves Water Clarity in Freshwater Pond

Freshwater Pond 1.5 acres, 6-8 ft depth Algal and aquatic weed growth is a persistent issue impairing water clarity in freshwater ponds. Warm water temperatures and nutrient loads promote algal and plant growth in these systems, especially when organic matter content...

Water Clarity Bioaugmentation in a Freshwater Pond

Freshwater Pond, 2 Acres The water clarity of freshwater ponds can be impaired by organic material which accumulates in response to high nutrient loadings. Eutrophic surface water conditions, enriched with high nutrient concentrations, can promote excessive algal...

Water Clarity Treatment in a Freshwater Lake

Freshwater Pond, 3 Acres, 20 Feet Deep Achieving good water clarity in freshwater ponds can be challenging, especially during spring and summer months. Algal growth is a common issue that increases suspended solids in open water bodies. Excess algal biomass can...

Improving Water Quality in Freshwater Lakes

Maintaining good water clarity is essential when managing drinking and recreational water resources. Freshwater pond systems have constant organic inputs from vegetation, biosolids, and runoff. In the spring and fall, changing water temperatures and densities can...

Bio-Dredging Solids in a Lagoon System

Lagoon System 0.01 MGD Municipalities using lagoon systems for wastewater treatment are often challenged with accumulating solids in their treatment ponds. Municipal wastewater carries high organic substrate loads that can inhibit proper wastewater processing....

Solids Reduction in a Municipal Lagoon System

One of the most persistent challenges in lagoon wastewater treatment is solids (sludge) management. Lagoon systems are designed to reduce organic solids during wastewaterprocessing. Built up sludge is typically dredged from lagoon systems with heavy equipment. Once...

BOD₅ and TSS Pretreatment for an Aerated Lagoon System

Collection System 0.02 MGD Publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) receiving wastewater from industrial sources often experience treatment complications from high biological oxygen demand (BOD5) and total suspended solids (TSS) loads. Establishing an...

BOD & TSS Treatment in an Industrial Wastewater Facility

Industrial Food & Beverage Wastewater Treatment Plant 0.01 MGD Wastewater treatment plants processing industrial wastewater are often challenged with high biological oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS)loadings. Specifically, wastewater byproducts...

FOG Reduction in Collection System

Collection System 0.8 MGD A growing Wyoming municipality of 10,000 people was having trouble with fats, oils, and grease (FOG) management in their wastewater collection system. The city’s lift stations and main lines were consistently coated with grease. When the lift...

FOG Treatment in a Wastewater Collection System

Collection System 0.7 MGD Persistent fats, oils, and grease (FOG) accumulation can deteriorate wastewater collection infrastructures and increase maintenance demands. Lift stations have many moving parts that can breakdown when FOG buildups are too great....