How does Waterneer BioKube sewage treatment plant clean wastewater?

The Waterneer BioKube Biological wastewater treatment plant system is a compact biological purification system, consisting of 1 – 3 units, depending on the cleaning requirements. Each unit has one section with submerged aereated filters (coarse bubble aeration), and one section for sedimentation.

Microorganisms growing on the submerged BioBlocks® filter degrades the dissolved organic load.

The picture show the submerged areated filters. The the system is designed in such a way that cloging is eliminated. Dead bacteria are removed back to the pre setteling tank at regular intervals using air lift pumps.

Submerged aerated filters is known to be one of the most stable techniques for treatment of wastewater in smaller quantities between 1 and 5.000 m3 / day. This i also due to the fact, that such a system can function even though the amount of inflowing wastrewater varies greatly in incomming amounts. This is the case in places like single houses, smaller villages, hotels, vacation houses etc.

A Waterneer BioKube system will also function without problems even if the house is vacant for a long period of time as the case is in a vacation house or a hotel with low seasons with few guests.

See here a popular description of BioKube cleaning process.

The Waterneer BioKube cleaning proces Step by Step in a Mars 1000 system:

1. Break down of Hydrogen Sulphide.

First it is important to prevent Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) from reaching the cleaning chambers in the BioKube, as this will damage or at best hamper the bacteria needed for the cleaning process in the first cleaning chamber.

Hydrogen Sulphide is always produced by bacteria living in sewage water deficient in oxygen, which is the case in a pre-settlement tank. The unique process in the BioKube (See our patent) makes it possible for us to eliminate the Hydrogen Sulphide in the pre-settlement tank, thus preventing it from reaching the BioKube.

The fact that our patented method eliminates Hydrogen Sulphide already in the pre-settling tank also eliminates the bad smell of Hydrogen Sulphide in the wastewater cleaning system.

2. Break down of organic material.

The wastewater is pumped from the pre-settling tank (septic tank) into the first BioKube cleaning chamber at precisely timed intervals.

One of the keys to our unique and stable cleaning process is based on our precise control of the inflow of the sewage water to be cleaned. The wastewater flows through the biofilter blocks, where the heterotrophic bacteria break down the organic material in the wastewater. From here the wastewater is led through a clarification chamber, where the wastewater moves slowly, and the sludge settles through gravitation. From this chamber the water flows into the second section, where this process repeats itself.

3. Break down of ammonium/ammonia nitrogen (nitrification).

From the clarification chamber of the second section, the water gravitates into the third section. Here we find the autotrophy microorganisms, which break down the ammonium/ammonia nitrogen. This process is called nitrification.

From the clarification chamber of the third section, the treated water is discharged back into nature as cleaned. The water is now so clean, that it can be led directly into a lake or stream. You can also use it for irrigation or similar purposes.

4. Removal of sludge.

The sludge, which settles in each section, is pumped back to the pre-settling tank (septic tank) several times a day. From the pre-settling tank the sludge should be removed. This is typically done once a year, depending on the size of the settling tank. A one family system (5 PE) needs a minimum 2 m3 settling tank to require emptying once a year in order to prevent the settling from overflowing and sludge entering the BioKube.

5. Periods of no inhabitants in the house.

If there are no inhabitants in the house for a long period of time then there is no waste water produced that will feed the bacteria.

This situation is taken care of by our patent of recirculation of treated water back to the settling tank. In a single house system we recirculate 750 litter / day to the settling tank. In the settling tank there is enough nourishment for the bacteria to live for minimum 12 months. This we have documented by many field tests.

6. Denitrification (total removal of Nitrogen)

The recirculation of cleaned sewage water back to the setteling tank has the effect that a BioKube system will also preform nitrification.

In a standard system removalot total N is about 70 % because of the regular recirculation back to the settling tank.

7. Removal of Phosphorus.

The BioKube can be equipped with a phosphorus precipitation kit, if it is required that the system removes phosphorus.

Phosphorus is removed by adding a Poly Aluminum chloride to the sludge, as it is returned to the pre-settling tank thereby creating a non-dissolvable salt, which stays in the pre-settlement tank until it is emptied once or twice a year.

Sewage water is increasingly complicated.

In order to maintain or restore optimal conditions in our waters (streams) we have to reduce nutrients, chemicals and foreign compounds to the environment, which today are discharged with wastewater from the households.

The composition of the household wastewater is now more complex than 10 years ago. During the last decade the water consumption per person has dropped significantly. But the low wastewater flow results in a higher concentration of chemicals used for cleaning in the households.

The combination of less wastewater with a higher concentration of chemicals and environmentally foreign compounds, demands an intensified treatment process. BioKube is designed to handle such an advanced wastewater treatment process. But substantial use of household chemicals which are non dergradeble should be avoided

We use natural bacteria.

A BioKube is designed so that it employs natural principles for treating the wastewater.

In nature, our water streams treat the wastewater. This happens as the water moves and thus is aerated, and thereby is provided with oxygen. The oxygen is used by the microorganisms, which live on stones and plants in the stream. This enhances the conditions for the microbiology to break down the pollution, which may be in the water.

No add-ons to nature.

The BioKube has optimized the process, so that the concentration of microorganisms, oxygen and nutrients always are in an optimal balance.

A BioKube takes the normal irregularities of the flow of wastewater from an individual or few households into account, e.g. high flows in the morning and in the evening, or no inflow of wastewater at all because the family is on vacation. Irregular flows of wastewater result in a great strain on the microorganisms during the cleansing process.

BioKube’s process control unit balances out the flow of the wastewater over 24 hours. This is done by pumping the wastewater from the inlet-well in small quantities and regular intervals into the BioKube. The micro-organisms are therefore offered optimal operating conditions, and treat the wastewater more efficiently than in any other solutions.

BioKube at high or low temperatures.

BioKube systems have also well documented cleaning qualities in hoth very high temperatures (exampel plus 40 degrees in the sun in the oilfieldsin Libya) or in the sub freezing temperaturesin Scandinavia.

Uranus system installed in the dessert in Libya.

BioKube Venus system in operation at sub freezing temperatures.