ADVICE & OPINION COMMENT BACTERIA, BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT Cleanliness is not something normally associated with university life. If you’ve ever set foot in a student house, you’ll know that coursework and cider take priority over cleaning. However, universities are still legally required to responsibly manage the wastewater they produce. The growing size of university campuses makes effluent management a huge task. Here, Bernard Daymon, president and CEO of global water, energy and maintenance solutions provider NCH Europe explores further 6 SEPTEMBER 2016 CLEANING HYGIENE TODAY Universities frequently experience peak spikes in activity, such as on open days when thousands of potential students can attend, or during fresher’s week, where thousands of students will descend upon all the campus bars and food outlets every night for a week. This means that it’s hard to effectively keep up successful wastewater management to remove the presence of FOGs at peak times, under intense pressure. It’s therefore important that wastewater management systems can work flexibly and quickly. Bacteria are normally something that comes to mind when you think about cleaning up waste rather than combatting it. However, new active bacteria solutions such as NCH Europe’s FreeFlow and BioAmp systems can clean up contaminants in wastewater in an instant. These bacteria are active from the moment they enter the system, meaning that they are immediately effective and perfect for times of high demand including the beginning of term. Previous use of enzymes and surfactants which liquefy effluent have been banned by numerous councils. Although these solutions decompose the waste initially, problems are created later on when the fats, oils and greases re-congealed within the site’s water pipes and public sewers. To combat this problem, NCH Europe offers different types of bacteria systems, which are ideal for different demands. BioAmp is an automated, computer-controlled delivery system that consistently releases the correct chemical doses at the correct times, ideal for universities experiencing changing levels in footfall. FreeFlow is a unique biological agent available in either tablet or liquid form that releases species of bacteria that There are a range of reasons why it’s vital to effectively clean up wastewater in universities. The number of young people going to university is continuing to increase, with 410,000 students accepted into university in 2015. To meet with the rising influx of students, today’s university campuses are the size of small towns, with a variety of onsite facilities including accommodation, lecture theatres, libraries, bars and food outlets. As these amenities continue to expand, the large quantities of wastewater that they produce also starts to increase. The presence of waste within a university’s water systems poses its own challenges for facilities managers, especially in relation to legal effluent discharge levels and their corresponding Mogden charges. MINIMISING MOGDEN CHARGES At times when universities are facing increasing cuts, the last thing facilities managers want to face is fines for illegal wastewater management under the Water Industry Act 1991. Companies pay an annual fee to hold a license in order to discharge effluent but there are strict limits on the amount that can be discharged. The Mogden Formula calculates charges per every cubic metre of trade effluent discharged into public sewers, taking into account variables including volume, amount of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and suspended solids (SS). Extra charges are incurred where there are higher levels of contaminants in the effluent than legally allowed, which often occurs during peak university seasons including freshers’ week and the beginning of term. So how can facilities managers take control of their Mogden costs? Many universities management teams are unaware that they can significantly reduce the Mogden charges that they incur through effective wastewater treatment that breaks down one of effluent discharges main culprits, the buildup of fats, oils and greases (FOGs). SAYING GOODBYE TO FOGS Imagine every single café, bar and restaurant located on a university campus. Now imagine the sheer volume of food and drink that is produced to meet the demands of the 410,000 students who walk through their doors. Every single one of these amenities will discharge fats, oils and greases down their drains and sinks as part of the food manufacturing process. This commercial waste can become trapped and start to decompose, creating foul odours, which are unpleasant for students, staff and visitors. Aside from the negative impact on reputation that unpleasant odours can create, they can also cause damaging effects to a university’s water system if they remain untreated. The build-up of FOGs within a university’s water system can lead to the formulation of fatbergs which are congealed forms of fat that lead to the significant blockage of pipes. While pipe repair and replacement is a costly exercise in itself, the staggering Mogden charges that fatbergs incur can escalate into hundreds of thousands of pounds. SIMPLE SOLUTIONS So how can facilities managers stop fatbergs from forming within their water systems? While preventing the formation of fatbergs may initially seem a complex equation in itself, the changing frequencies in footfall and food production creates further complications for facilities teams. break down complex waste streams. The unique system works to reduce sludge volume by up to 50 per cent, ideal for facilities teams trying to tackle their rising Mogden charges. FreeFlow 50 is a dosing mechanism for the FreeFlow liquid, which is a biological solution containing 10 strains of food safe bacillus bacteria that safely clear organic waste. The automatic dosing feature not only makes this more cost effective, it avoids human error, minimises the risk of an incorrect dosage and subsequently avoids Mogden fines. FreeFlow 100 is the premium solution, which is much stronger. It contains liquid nutrient and biological solutions, which boost the growth and performance of bacteria for a more effective treatment, particularly when cutting through FOGs and organic waste. TOP OF THE CLASS Using bacteria to target waste may initially have never crossed many facilities manager’s minds. The use of automated systems that remove the chance for ineffective underdosing or costly overdosing minimises any disruptions to business processes and enables facilities teams to concentrate upon other areas of the university’s operations. If there’s one thing that student kitchens and university wastewater systems have in common, it’s that they are both breeding grounds for bacteria. However, NCH Europe’s bacteria will help rather than harm. It’s vital that universities have effective systems in place to deal with wastewater, especially at peak times, to avoid costly fines and damage to their reputation because of unpleasant odours. Who knew that bacteria could be so helpful?
Cleaning Hygiene Today September 2016
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