Wastewater Treatment and Water Quality Protection Around Lakes (WWETT Show 2023)

March 23, 2023

Using enhanced cultures of specific facultative bacteria coupled with Aerobic Bacteria Generator technologies can go a long way to remediate aging septic systems near lakefronts.  There are two essential aspects to this.  One is that failing leachfields can surface effluent that directly contaminates lakes with fecal bacteria, nitrogen and phosphates.  Biological removal of clogging biomats keeps effluent under the soil avoiding conditions of direct runoff.  Beyond this the altered microbiology can reduce nitrogen through soil based denitrification, and conversion of these septic systems from anaerobic to aerobic status increases soil absorption of phosphate, minimizing this source of eutrophication. 

A second advantage is by converting these systems, either renovation of old systems, or installation of entirely new ABG systems that have NSF 40 certification allows improvement of effluent quality to the point where standard gravel-trench leachfields can be replaced with Subsurface Drip irrigation.  In this fashion placement of the discharge point near the soil surface adds extra distance from often high groundwater in these lakefront sites.  This also applies the liquid in the root zone of lakefront lawns and landscapes.  This can eliminate the need for artificial fertilizers near the lakefront, a substantial source of nutrient contamination.  Further the nutrients in the waste will be directly taken by the vegetation.  In fact during the summer the discharged effluent travels upward via plant transpiration instead of down to the aquifer. 

Experience with this technology has allowed us to successfully apply drip irrigation in the worst freezing conditions in northern Michigan with almost 20 years of examples.

Learning Objectives:

1. Discuss alternative microbiological processes

2. Describe bioremediation in leachfield soils

3. Review approaches to water quality protection in lakes

4. Discuss harmful algae blooms in lake waters

Speaker: Daniel Wickham, President at SludgeHammer Group Ltd.

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