Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Wednesday 13th July 2011

THEY’RE lurking in the sewers, rolling onwards, growing larger…

Fat is a menace to pumping stations - often forming into spheres the size of footballs. They can mass in their hundreds, clogging up vital equipment as they float to the surface.

The result? Blockages, toxic gases and, ultimately, expensive breakdowns.

But they’ve met their match with a revolutionary new biotechnology - The Bactaerator.

It’s simple but so powerful. The system converts the septic pumping station into an aerated bio-reactor by injecting air, nutrients and bacteria. The friendly bacteria simply “eat” the fat balls turning them into harmless water and CO2.

This astonishing new approach has been developed by expert bioengineers at CBIO in Stockton-on-Tees, and recent trials in pumping stations have proved it to be a huge success. (Images available)

Now big name supermarkets and pub chains are installing the eco-friendly, low cost technology to manage their waste, explains Ben Hoskyns, CBIO managing director.

“This is a hugely exciting development. The trials couldn’t have gone better,” says Ben. “Fat may be a menace in large waste systems, but to bacteria fat is simply a source of food. The Bactaerator introduces bacteria into the system that then live on the fat. This method is excellent value for money, safe for the environment and extremely effective - it prevents the fat balls growing.”

Ben explains that previously the only way to beat the balls was both costly and time consuming:

“The whole wet well would have to be emptied and jetted clean on average every six weeks by a contractor. Smells were dealt with separately through a regular dose of strong oxidizing chemicals that are extremely expensive and complicated to handle. In comparison, the Bactaerator solves both these problems at once and only needs checking every three months.”

Dr Tony Brooke, CBIO development director, explains how the Bactaerator trial was undertaken at a pumping station in Cork. “Essentially we turned the pumping station into an aerobic bioreactor. It may sound complicated but all bacteria needs to survive is air, water, nutrients and food. The Bactaerator provides the bacteria, air and nutrients - the pumping stations provide the food in the form of fat balls in water. It’s that simple and so effective.”

The report of the Cork trial stated that the Bactaerator “performed well and greatly extended the cleaning interval.” Another client, Park Leisure 2000 which manages static holiday homes, said it was “hugely impressed” with the Bactaerator’s performance at the firm’s Weardale site.

“We had a very bad odour problem with our on-site pumping station and ended up with a large toxic area of ground,” explains Simon Jones, UK maintenance manager for Park Leisure 2000. “Our clients had noticed the bad smells and this could have had a significant detrimental effect.

“CBIO installed the Bactaerator and in three weeks there was a noticeable difference. They also gave us great guidance and expertise. We have six sites around the UK at most of which we now use CBIO’s grease-eating products.

“In fact we have been so impressed with this system that even though we’ve since had a £1/2m investment to take away the septic tanks and convert to mains drainage we have kept the Bactaerator. How can you put a value on good customer relations? We have had no complaints at all about smells since installing it.

“We also have the David Bellamy environmental award at our holiday sites and it’s very important to us to be ecologically friendly.”

CBIO’s new Bactaerator technology is now in use at more than 20 commercial sites including large supermarket stores, abattoirs, shopping centres and pub chains. It’s expected that water boards will be the next big customer when a new private sewer bill comes out this October. The new bill will see water companies having to take on responsibility for private sewer systems and pumping stations – a huge undertaking for which the Bactaerator is perfectly placed to cut costs, time and environmental impact.

“There’s nothing like this product,” adds Tony. “We’ve had supermarket clients with fat problems so bad the balls are rolling out of the sump and through car parks. This is a revolution in waste management - harnessing nature to help our 21st century technology run smoothly. A simple way of turning fat into water and CO2.”

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