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Case Study

Paper Mill

Total Suspended Solids and Biological Oxygen Demand Reduction


A pulp-paper mill in U.S. South Georgia faced a major problem of total suspended solids and biological oxygen demand in a mill aeration pond. The pond had a 24 million gallons per day waste stream, and the average daily TSS ranged from 6,000 pounds to as high as 29,000 pounds. BOD was also a major concern in this aeration pond. Levels ranged from 70,000 to 210,000.


The pond needed to be treated to reduce the TSS and BOD by at least 50% maintaining cost-effectiveness. A microbiology company was commissioned to formulate a microbial product which would use an Organic Product as the substrate to achieve the goals. The microbiologists confirmed that that the Organic Product substrate was an excellent incubation medium for microorganisms. It has an extremely high concentration of organic matter, packed with micro and macronutrients that provide the microbes with an excellent food source. The use of microbial-based products has historically been impacted by the “lag-time” before the product begins to function. By using the Organic Product as the substrate for the microorganisms, the “lag- time” was significantly reduced. Laboratory results concluded that by incubating microbes in the product the number of colony-forming units per milliliter increased exponentially. After 24 hours of incubation, the CFU/ml increased 10-fold. After 10 days the CFU/ml count was 32 times higher.

The Organic Product was added to the mill aeration pond (24 million gallons daily waste stream) at the rate of 2 PPM/day. The TSS levels prior to treatment averaged 14,125 lbs./day. After 10 days, a total of 500 gallons of the product had been metered into the pond. The average daily TSS were reduced to 5,810 lbs. with the treatment, a 59% reduction. The BOD decreased by 65%.


The Organic Product was extremely effective in rapidly reducing the TSS and BOD to the targeted levels in the mill aeration pond. The product provided the mill with a cost-effective alternative to other solutions they had considered.

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