Understanding Biological Nutrient Removal

Biological nutrient removal, sometimes called BNR, is the process of removing phosphorus and nitrogen from wastewater before it is released into other types of water. You might wonder why exactly BNR is so important, and you might also wonder how these compounds are removed. This guide will help you understand the process.

Why Is Biological Nutrient Removal Important?

Finding harmful compounds in wastewater is becoming a major problem. Nitrogen and phosphorous levels are significant issues that can cause harm if they are left unchecked. Human activities have led to increases in these compounds becoming part of our municipal wastewater, and our ecosystems are suffering because of it.

One way in which phosphorous and nitrogen harm our ecosystem is by helping algae blooms develop in the warm months of summer. Over time, these blooms are disastrous for water sources. They kill fish, create dirty water, and eliminate the animals and plants that should be living in the water.

What Is Nitrogen Removal?

Nitrogen removal is just one part of the process of BNR. The process involves a reduction of nitrate to other gases. It goes through the process of becoming oxidized to become nitrate.

What Is Phosphorous Removal?

The removal of phosphorous is the second part of the process. The process removes soluble and particulate phosphorous. The treatment promotes the growth of polyphosphate-accumulating organisms. These organisms are bacteria that help with the removal of phosphorous in large amounts. The bacteria converts matter to polyhydroxyalkanoates, which are naturally produced by sugars and lipid fermentation.

What Are the Steps Like?

There are several steps in the process to complete the tasks of nitrogen and phosphorous removal. It is important to consider the fact that the process is not short and simple. The process is physical and chemical, and there are several techniques involved.

Does BNR Work?

Biological nutrient removal is a process that has technology supporting it. Of course, the fact that the process does involve so many individual steps means it can be costly and difficult to put into action. The steps are complex and do involve a high cost. They also require an increased number of wastewater treatment centers. The high costs also require a large amount of training for the employees involved. Ultimately, the process has been deemed highly effective, but understanding the technique allows people to better understand why the costs are worthwhile.

To learn more, contact a company that does biological nutrient removal.