In 1972, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in response to the enactment of the Clean Water Act (CWA), started developing national water quality standards with specific wastewater pollutant limits. In conjunction with state environmental regulatory agencies, a permitting system identified as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) was created to implement the regulations governing the discharge of wastewater into public waterways.
Historically, smaller towns and communities throughout the world have depended on wastewater lagoons as the most reliable and cost effective solution for dealing with the disposal of domestic sewage. In the United States, approximately 30% of permitted wastewater facilities are open lagoon systems. It is estimated that 40% of these facilities are in violation of the terms of their wastewater discharge permit, and an even higher percentage will not be able to meet future 2015 regulations currently being developed by the EPA.
Municipalities are caught in a regulatory quandary as federal and state agencies continue to require a higher level of treatment effort while funding sources are becoming less available. In addition, regulators tend to favor the replacement of lagoons with mechanical systems which are far too expensive to install and operate.
By retrofitting existing lagoon facilities with The BiO2 Solution™, a biologically-based wastewater treatment technology, it is possible to meet current and proposed regulatory requirements while meeting the budget constraints that are significantly impacting the majority of wastewater utilities throughout the United States.
History of The BiO2 Solution™
In the 1970’s, our family built a multi-environment, pork production facility on the eastern plains of Colorado called Comanche Livestock Company. Lagoons were utilized to treat waste from all buildings. Multi-stage lagoons were widely recognized as the best solution for livestock wastewater treatment. Over time, however, there was a sludge build-up in the lagoons from the bottom up and the top down. Because cleaning out a lagoon was a costly and environmentally challenging endeavor, Comanche began a search for a better wastewater treatment. Many concepts that looked reasonable were implemented, but acceptable results were never attained.
In 1994, an environmental researcher came to Comanche with a wastewater treatment concept utilizing single-cell multi-species algae as the oxygen source. Over time, the lagoons changed from odor-producing anaerobic cells into aerobic conditions with minimal odor.
In 2001, Agsmart, Inc., a Colorado corporation, was formed. At this time, a patent for a technology based on aerobic dynamics was applied for and, ultimately the patent was granted in 2005 (U.S. Patent #6,896,804).
The BiO2 Solution™ has been patented, engineered, and the science behind the system has been validated through quantitative and qualitative testing and review by independent parties. The BiO2 Solution™ has developed into an innovative and economically efficient wastewater technology. It optimizes the growth of beneficial microalgae that generate oxygen for wastewater treatment in lagoon systems. This natural source of pure oxygen eliminates the need for traditional mechanical aeration components, saving municipal, industrial, and agricultural treatment facilities both in capital (CAPEX) and operational costs (OPEX). Additonally, BiO2 Solutions has incorporated Electrocoagulation Technology as a final polishing treatment for use in municipal applications with excellent results (see Hydro under Municipal Case Studies).