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Breeding Bacteria for a Good Cause

Updated on August 22, 2014

Types of Bacteria

Bacteria is generally considered a dangerous species causing various and serious illness to Humans. There is an other face to this terminology which is very much helpful for sustenance of Human life in this world

Bacteria can be broadly classified into two major types based on their functionality.

Good Bacteria and Bad Bacteria depending upon what they to do to Humans.

Good Bacteria are further classified into five types:

1) Lactobacillus acidophilus

It is present in different parts of human body mainly in Vagina, Intestines and Oral Cavity. This Bacteria help in increasing the pH of some vital fluids especially in Vagina preventing growth of other micro organisms and also helps in metabolism.

2) Bacillus subtilis

It occurs independently in nature and is present mostly in Dairy products like Yogurt, Milk, Ice cream etc. It is also present in fermented Soybeans. It is helpful in treating diarrhea. It also helps in Gut Motility and Metabolic functioning

3) Bifidobacterium animalis

It is present in the intestines of Human and Animals. It helps in digestive activities.

4) Streptococcus thermophilus

It strengthens immunity and improves functioning of Gut. It can be obtained in all Dairy products.

5) Lactobacillus reuteri

It is present mostly in Maternal Breast Milk. It is a permanent part of the Gut Flora. Also present in Dairy Products.

There are five types of Harmful Bacteria that cause deadly diseases in humans like Sore throat, Skin infection, diarrhea, cholera,food poisoning, Typhoid fever etc.

We are going to look into some basic helps we derive from beneficial Bacteria and how with our modern Science, we make them more effective to maximize the benefits.

Process of Digestion

The process of Digestion starts the very moment we start chewing the food in our mouth. There are two processes that during this action. Mechanical size reduction of the food particles and the mixing of Saliva that is secreted in the mouth. These are called Mechanical digestion and chemical digestion.

Food here takes the shape of round slurry mass and travels through esophagus and enters Stomach where it is retained for a period of 1 to 2 hours in Humans during which time Chemical as wel as Mechanical digestion occur.

The Gastric Juice secreted in the Stomach actively involves in this process and call specifically as Protein Digestion with the help of Hydrochloric Acid and Pepsin. 95 % of the absorption of essential nutrients happen in Small Intestines.

Majority of Food is composed of Carbohydrates, Protein, Vitamins and minerals with a basic and complicated structures of elements like Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen etc.

These essential ingredients are converted into simple matters that can be easily absorbed by the human body system. The human waste consists of undigested essential ingredients, water, salts, mucus, cellular debris from the intestines, bacteria, and cellulose and other types of fiber.

As long as these complex food ingredients are present in the human waste, they are dangerous to environment and human health. All these complex proteins and Carbohydrates have to be disintegrated into simple substance like Carbon dioxide, Hydrogen, Oxygen and the likes to make it environment friendly and harmless.

Disintegration of these components is possible only by Bacteria and hence they are the focal points in Sewage Treatment.

Sample Sewage Analysis Report

Sewage Treatment Plant

Sewage Water Treatment using Bacteria

The quantity of Bacteria in Human Waste is very less that it takes a real long time for them to disintegrate it completely and convert them into basic Eco-friendly compounds and elements. Digesting these complex components is the primary objective and based on this objective a Sewage Treatment Plant is designed.

A Storage facility is first created whose volume is decided by calculating the number of residents in the area and the per capita average usage of water prevalent there. The a breeding place is created.

This is a very important place as almost all the complex components get disintegrated here by Bacteria. To make the process effective we have to work along with Bacteria.

Mind set Analysis

Will you drink Water that complies with WHO standards for drinking water but treated and purified from sewage waste

See results

Oxygen Provided to Bacteria

Working with Bacteria

From the Storage facility Sewage is pumped into a Bio Reactor where Bacteria is grown. As we have already seen the original quantity of Bacteria present in Sewage will be very less and hence increasing the count of Bacteria is essential.

This is done by adding some material that has more Bacterial count and also some effective food for the Bacteria to breed faster. Normally wastes from other animals like Cow or Horse have more Bacterial count that the Human waste. Depending upon the availability and requirement of the particular module of Plant requisite quantity of Cow dung or Horse dung is added to the Bio Reactor.

Bacteria present in the waste should also have sufficient air which contains Oxygen, an important ingredient that helps Bacteria to disintegrate the wastes. Oxygen is also required for respiration of Bacteria. Total quantity of Oxygen required by Bacteria is tested both biologically and chemically.

Biological Oxygen Demand or BOD is the result of Biological testing which requires at least three days to get processed as the bacteria breeding is done in incubator to determine the values. Since a process is waiting for the result where addition of ingredients depend only upon the result, waiting for three days to take any corrective action is not advisable.

To get an approximate idea of Bacterial Demand immediately, Chemical testing method is used. This is called Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)

After you have done everything to increase the count of Bacteria, you have to then concentrate on feeding it properly. In some conditions Urea or some natural based manures are used to complete the process.

When the count and the food are taken care of check whether the Oxygen available in the Sewage is sufficient to sustain the lives of Bacteria.

Water normally dissolves a certain quantity of Oxygen which is called as dissolved Oxygen. Micro organisms present in water consume this Oxygen constantly and as the dissolved Oxygen level in water reduces, it adds Oxygen and dissolving it and the regular source of this Oxygen is atmosphere.

Maintaining at least a minimum quantity of dissolved Oxygen in Sewage water is absolutely essential to keep the Bacteria live. Blowers that blow air into the reactors at constant and regular rates are installed and air is fed to the reactor for sufficient growth of Bacteria.

Sand Filter & Activated Carbon Filter

Work Completed - You are fired!

When disintegration of complex material is completed by Bacteria then the process of removing them starts.

Removal of Suspended Solids

If you take a sample of the processed fluid, you can see clearly the change in appearance and odor. You can see a distinct layer of clear water and the impurities slowly settling down. The next process will be to remove the suspended solids.

This done in two steps. First it is sent into a Clarifier which settles down the bigger particles. Then it is passed through a series of filters that can be filled with gravel, sand and Activated Carbon.

Most of the bacteria residing in the lumps of suspended particles get separated in this process itself. But complete removal of Bacteria is achieved by passing Hypochloride solution to the filtered water or passing controlled dosage of Chlorine which is a disinfecting agent.

This water can be used for Gardening and Toilet flushing. If the intended use is for human consumption then additional purifying processes like Ultra Filtration and Reverse Osmosis could be used.

This is only basic process. Technological advancements have brought about lots of changes and improvements that make Sewage Treatment effective with more quality and cost controls.

But there is a big question mark. Will you drink water that complies with WHO standards but treated and purified from Sewage waste

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