The “as a service” model is on the rise across a wide range of industries, wastewater treatment (WWT) included, and for good reason. As WWT has gotten more complex and demand for a more energy-efficient and effective approach have grown, an opening has developed for treatment-as-a-service (TaaS) providers to offer a more technologically advanced and streamlined approach that doesn’t require significant investment in new infrastructure. Learn how our EBS-Di solution is changing the landscape for WWT plants.
Modern WWT demands flexibility
To understand why TaaS is rapidly emerging as an alternative to traditional mechanical upgrades, it’s important to shine a light on the deficiencies of traditional WWT. It boils down to a lack of flexibility within the framework of water treatment. Where the biological composition of wastewater changes constantly, the mechanical systems designed to process pathogens out stay the same. As a result, efficiency fluctuates.
Many wastewater plants are inefficient. Modernizing them under the guise of efficiency is expensive. From coagulation and flocculation to sedimentation and filtration, each phase of a plant operation needs infrastructure improvement, equating to massive CAPEX. Even still, this doesn’t address the changing nature of wastewater contaminants and the unique challenges that accompany the prevalence of certain bacteria, microbes, chemicals, or organic matter.
Under a traditional approach to WWT, operators pay to expand their plant’s processing abilities, but are not doing nearly enough to improve the efficiency, efficacy, or quality of WWT.
The traditional CAPEX model
The chief problem with a CAPEX model is that it only increases capacity. Plants may seem more efficient in the short-term, but as they process higher volumes, that capacity doesn’t parlay into efficiency. Energy demands rise, which drives up energy costs. There also are increased costs associated with more expansive plants, including costs associated with staffing, upkeep, and maintenance.
As the name implies, upgrading wastewater facilities under the CAPEX model comes with significant expenses. These costs easily climb into the hundreds of thousands for a small, five million gallon-per-day (gpd) WWTP, and higher as plant capacity scales up. But these costs don’t directly address core plant demands outside of demand for capacity.
What happens when there’s excessive flocculation due to bulking filamentous bacteria? How can additional mechanical capacity address excessive nitrogen content? What recourse does CAPEX offer for wastewater with high inorganic chloramines? Mechanical investments leave WWT operators with big question marks when it comes to addressing specific (often changing) microbiological wastewater problems.
A “treatment-as-a-service” OPEX model
Treatment-as-a-Service offers several notable benefits for WWTP operators who understand the shortcomings of a CAPEX approach. Not only does this OPEX-focused model eliminate the cost barriers of plant modernization, it opens the door to improved efficiency and — most importantly — flexibility in a core treatment approach. Paying as-you-go, for results you can calculate in real time, illuminates tremendous cost savings in a next-gen approach to WWT.
Despite ongoing OPEX, microbiological treatments are lower in cost than mechanical plant upgrades. This is because microbiological treatment focuses on the coagulation and flocculation aspects of treatment, thus improving the capacity and efficiency of later-stage treatments. Efficiency in sludge reduction reduces downstream demands. It also reduces operational costs because there’s less energy required to process larger volumes that have been biologically treated.
Flexibility is the greatest benefit of TaaS. It’s an ongoing solution that’s highly adaptive. It can learn and conform to the changing wastewater microbiome to provide more effective treatment on an ongoing basis, and across multiple settings. Microbiological treatments deliver efficiency to plant operators within the confines of a mechanical framework that’s now capable of doing more, more efficiently.
The EBS-Di enables the scalability WWTPs need
Today, as WWTP operators seek to upgrade and modernize their facilities, they’re confronted with a question of how to make that investment. Mechanical or biological? CAPEX or OPEX? Regardless of the lens it’s viewed through, more plant operators are turning to EnBiorganic Technologies and our proven EBS-Di solution for TaaS.
As conventional WWT becomes a costly proposition and the need for more efficient solutions grows, the ability to customize the approach to a specific site becomes more attractive to municipalities, utility companies, and WWT plant operators. EBS-Di provides TaaS that gets results and delivers the tailored performance demanded by each site at which it’s in use.
To learn more about the benefits of using the EBS-Di system for wastewater treatment, visit enbiorganic.com.