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Bioaugmentation (definition) is the addition of commercially prepared bacterial cultures to supplement the existing bacterial population.  These selectively adapted bacteria are used to enhance bio-mass activity by correcting or improving the current process.  Other products may be used to stimulate growth of bacteria by addressing deficiencies encountered (micronutrients, vitamins, etc.).

Benefits of Bioaugmentation include the following: 


  • Accelerate system startups to achieve steady-state operation in days as opposed to weeks.
  • Enhance removal of pass-through or difficult-to-degrade compounds (surfactants, solvents, FOG’s, petroleum hydrocarbons, etc).
  • Improve BOD and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) removal efficiency.
  • Sludge reduction through increased enzymatic activity on biodegradable solids.
  • Foam reduction due to degradation of surfactants and de-stabilization of filamentous bacteria.
  • Odor reduction due to greater degradation of odor-causing compounds (H2S, mercaptans, amines, volatile fatty acids, etc.).
  •  Improved solid settling by destabilizing filamentous organisms.
  • Other benefits include improved nitrification (ammonia removal), polymer reduction, greater oxygen transfer efficiency, and less costly alternative to retrofitting plant in some cases.

 The bacteria chosen must be non-pathogenic (non-disease causing) and safe, and are usually selected for their ability to degrade substrates (food sources) such as proteins, starch, cellulose, FOG’s, petroleum hydrocarbons, mercaptans (hydrogen sulfide derivatives), surfactants, ammonia, etc.

 Bioaugmentation Brief & Questionnaire PDF