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Detrimental Effects of Ineffective Biomass formation in Wastewater Treatment

Detrimental Effects of Ineffective Biomass formation in Wastewater Treatment

The need for biomass formation for the efficient performance of wastewater treatment plants is a well-documented study. Biomass essentially are the microorganisms, crucially bacteria, that are responsible for the breakdown of organic matter and reduction in overall contaminants.

Conversely, biomass can also turn out to be one of the major reasons for a plant to not run in the desirable manner and cause huge performance issues. Excess and ineffective biomass formation is a phenomenon which not many are aware of, but can have detrimental effects on the overall operations.

The efficient running of these ETPs and STPs are critical to the overall production capacities of organizations. Any upsets to the wastewater plants can effectively cause a shutdown of the manufacturing facility and cause huge losses.

In this blog, we take a look at how excess biomass formation occurs, and the adverse impact it has on day to day operations of organizations.

Firstly, what is Biomass formation in Wastewater Treatment?

As mentioned above, biomass refers to the community/consortium of bacteria and other microbial culture which thrive in wastewater effluents  by consuming organic matter in the water. This essentially reduces organic matter and consequently leads to a reduction in undesirable parameters such as COD/BOD and other contaminants. 

How is Excessive or Ineffective Biomass formed?

The formation of ineffective biomass can occur in wastewater treatments plants due to various factors. Some of the reasons are as follows:

  • Presence of Toxic Substances – The presence of chemical or inorganic substances can create an unfavorable environment for bacterial consortiums. This leads to ineffective breakdown of organic matter and leads to formation of ineffective biomass remains.
  • High Organic Content – When the organic content in the effluent is much higher than what is anticipated, it may overwhelm the microbes. This may lead to excessive formation of biomass to tackle these substances.
  • Fluctuating Organic Loads – Similar to the point mentioned above, the fluctuations in the organic load in effluents confuses the microbes and disrupt the overall balance to treat each kind of effluent effectively.
  • Absence of Crucial Nutrients – The absence crucial nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous disrupts their ability to consumer organics. This unfavorable environment leads to formation of ineffective biomass
  • Dissolved Oxygen shortage – Low levels of DO in aerobic treatment conditions limits the capabilities of microbes to perform to their full potential. This again, leads to formation of underperforming microbes.

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Adverse Effects of Formation of Excess/Ineffective Biomass:

Now that we have understood the reasons behind the formation of this undesirable biomass, lets understand the challenges that organizations might face due to it:

  • Costly Disposal – With environmental regulations tightening by the day, organizations are under tremendous pressure to reduce overall waste disposal. Excess disposal leads to hefty fines, putting more impetus on the importance of reducing excess biomass.
  • Poorly Performing plants – All the reasons mentioned above behind formation of ineffective biomass point to the same conclusion – Ineffective consumption of organic load and reduced treatment efficiency.
  • Energy Consumption – Since there is an excess supply of ineffective biomass in the aeration tank, the aeration might need to be increased significantly to deal with the same.
  • Release of Pollutants – Finally, the inefficiency of these wastewater treatment plants leads to the discharge of poorly treated water in the already polluted water bodies.

Addressing these challenges requires organizations to work with seasoned professionals with years of experience in understanding the types of effluent they are dealing with, the right microbial solution to tackle it, and the quantity as well as the frequency of dosage for the same.

In addition to this, consistent monitoring of the inlet organic load, adequate dissolved oxygen, adequate nutrient supply, and adherence to dosage schedule is of paramount importance. 

Get in touch with us at, to know more about quality parameters that differentiate various bacteria cultures, and also about our superior offerings in this space!

Rahul Mehta - Business Development Manager at Pure Water Enterprises

Rahul Mehta

Rahul Mehta is the Business Development Manager at Pure Water Enterprises, one of the fastest-growing water & wastewater companies in India. Specializing in wastewater filtration, disinfection, and bioremediation, his expertise has helped him understand the Indian water treatment landscape and position the organization's innovative and eco-friendly solutions in the most efficient way possible.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,