Soil Microbiology 101: The Power of Bacillus Bacteria

The Bacillus genus is a diverse collection of facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria that thrives in soil and other organic environments. Bacilli play a fundamental role in maintaining their local microbiome — from helping plants grow strong and healthy to neutralizing nefarious bacterial strains. These incredible ecological properties make Bacillus ideal for advanced microbiological approaches to wastewater treatment (WWT).

Bacillus bacteria in wastewater treatment

Bacilli are bacterial caretakers, modulating the local microbiome to achieve and maintain homeostasis. This is true not only in nourishing soil environments where it’s present, but also in aquatic environments, where Bacilli are capable of influencing an assortment of physical and chemical properties.

  • Physical properties: transparency and total dissolved solids
  • Chemical properties: pH, conductivity, chemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, alkalinity, phosphates, nitrogenous species, and hardness

The ability of Bacilli to temper these variables within an aquatic environment, at a microbiological level, has made it a powerful agent in wastewater treatment over more than the past two decades. Microbiological approaches are increasingly superior to mechanical improvements in terms of WWT processing, largely because of the capabilities of Bacillus bacteria — in both efficiency and results.

Bioaugmentation technology in agricultural wastewater treatment

The presence of Bacilli in a wastewater environment may not be novel, but it wasn’t until the past two decades that they were actively linked to water treatment. Now, as many WWT operators stare down the barrel of incredible CAPEX to modernize facilities, they’re beginning to understand the benefits of bioaugmentation.

Bacilli improve the efficiency and quality of the wastewater treatment process without mechanical upgrades. Mechanical upgrades add capacity to facilities, but they do little to contend with persistent problems which force mechanical systems to work harder and, thus, cost more.

Microbiological approaches to WWT attack the problem organically. For example, the EBS-Di utilizes Bacilli as a biological agent, to combat the core problems that lead to excessive sludge. Not only does the EBS-Di modulate sludge-forming bio elements, it also preserves vital phosphorous and potassium nutrients, as well as beneficial microbes. Bacilli are responsible for efficient treatment, superior water quality, and useful byproduct materials.

Bacillus creates stability across the water cycle

The efficacy of Bacillus bacteria as a wastewater treatment agent proves itself time and again in studies. Moreover, it does so under scrutiny from multiple approaches.

One study of wastewater treatment using Bacillus (sp. K5) looked specifically at its ability to remove nitrogen. It quickly concluded that, “bioaugmentation made K5 predominant and strengthened the performance of simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND), to promote aerobic nutrients removal. The data from quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) suggested that SND might be the primary pathway for nitrogen removal. Consequently, the bioaugmentation of Bacillus sp. K5 in the sequencing batch reactor (SBR) could be regarded as an effective technology for the treatment of municipal wastewater.”

In another study — this one on Bacillus as a tool for crop improvement — researchers confirmed the ability of bacteria to maintain homeostasis, even in turbulent and volatile environments, like those found in WWT. The study reports, “During water scarcity, salinity and heavy metal accumulate in soil, Bacillus spp. produce exopolysaccharides and siderophores, which prevent the movement of toxic ions and adjust the ionic balance and water transport in plant tissues while controlling the pathogenic microbial population.”

Ultimately, Bacillus bacteria offer holistic benefits across the water cycle: from balancing the integrity of moisture in the soil to improving the quality of water treatment. It’s best summed up in yet another study on Bacillus’ ability to neutralize toxic, pathogenic, and problematic elements. The study concludes, “The selected bacterium (Bacillus sp. KUJM2) offered considerable potential as a potentially toxic elements (PTE) remediating agent, plant growth promoter and regulator of PTE translocation curtailing environmental and human health risks.”

Innovating on nature’s premier caretaker

Bacillus bacteria has the power to completely transform wastewater treatment. Unfortunately, it’s not inherent to the environments where it can do the most good. To put Bacilli to work effectively, EnBiorganic Technologies has worked to harness the modulating effects of this bacteria and combine it with an on-demand production solution. The result is our EBS-Di solution, which establishes and maintains homeostasis in biodiverse, volatile aquatic environments by effectively deploying Bacilli.

Microbiological wastewater treatment directly addresses many of the challenges traditional WWT faces. Using soil-derived Bacillus bacteria as the agent means deploying a natural solution that’s not only effective in reducing sludge, energy costs, and processing time, it also delivers net positives to the environment and WWT sustainability initiatives.

To learn more about the benefits of a microbiological solution, visit

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