On Wednesday, September 17th, Wastewater 101 spent the evening in Bloomington, Indiana. Barb was talking to many of the employees of the Dillman Road and Blucher Poole Wastewater Treatment Plants. We met at the Blucher Poole Facility and discussed Cold Weather Impact on the wastewater plant. With the weather starting to change so does the effectiveness of the microorganisms and as we all know; for every 10 degrees F change in the weather, the bacteria loose one logs growth of activity. The cold weather also allows the fats, greases and oils (FOG) to stay congealed until it reaches the plant, which can lead to filamentous bacteria becoming the most abundant. Yes, we want filamentous (they are the backbone of the floc), we just don’t want an overabundance because they can cause foaming or bulking. Fall and spring is when our plants are the most susceptible to this fragile condition. Once the temperature stabilizes things settle down a little at the plant, but during the fall and spring of the year when temperatures fluctuate wildly from morning cold to afternoon warm and back to evening cool the bacteria aren’t sure what to do and too often neither is the operator. But, the employees in Bloomington now have the information needed to make battle plans for when the bacteria decide to go on the “war path” and don’t want to cooperate.
Visiting southern Indiana is always a treat, especially the classes I do for Bloomington, as they are such an eager group of operators, maintenance and lab techs, just a great group of professionals. They always have great questions and we always have good discussion and some light bantering during the sessions. But they always seem to walk away with just a few more tools in their arsenals. This trip I was pleased to meet the new Water Pollution Control Director for both facilities, Garrett Towell. I think he will be a great asset to them as he becomes more familiar with the operation of the two facilities.