Product Spotlight - March 2023

Product Spotlight - March 2023

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Bacterial generator design for remediation for larger homes

Dairy manure lagoons inspired SludgeHammer to begin extensive research into the role certain facultative bacteria played in improving biological performance, which eventually lead to the development of their S-86 Aerobic Bacterial Generator. 

“The original prototype was designed to grow those bacteria inside septic tanks so they could move into leachfields that had become clogged with mucus compounds in the biomat,” says Dr. Daniel Wickham, founder of SludgeHammer. “This type of bacteria needs oxygen to actively grow in the tank, but once in the leachfield, they shift over to fermentative metabolism and get their oxygen from the sugar component in the mucus.”

Over the years, SludgeHammer has refined its line of ABGs into products to fit a wide range of applications. “The S-86 is for remediation of larger homes,” Wickham says. “It’s also the core component we use in NSF 40-certified models for the new Advanced Treatment Systems and also for large community, commercial or industrial waste systems.”

The S-86 is a self-contained bioreactor that installs into any standard tank with a water depth of at least 40 inches. It stands 36-inches tall with a 12-inch diameter and inside of the unit is a fine bubble diffuser at the base. Air is supplied by an external linear air blower through 1/2-inch PVC that is placed in a shallow trench so it can penetrate the tank riser and go directly down to the unit sitting at the bottom of the tank.

“Air rising through the column draws liquid from the tank into and through the column at a rate depending on the air delivery,” Wickham says. “A typical S-86 aerated by an HP 80 blower will circulate 32,000 gpd through the bioreactor.” Inside the unit is a coiled sheet of cuspated plastic that provides 120 square feet of surface area for a fixed-film colony of bacteria. 

“Like our other units, it’s certified under the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and listed in the Universal Plumbing Code,” Wickham says. “Improvements over time to the internal diffuser mechanism has allowed better air flow, extending the life of the air blower diaphragms as well as improving performance to the NSF 40 Class 1 level.”

Wickham says installers appreciate the simplicity of installation inside locally sourced septic tanks. “They also acknowledge the biological efficiency that allows installation of units in residential inlet chambers, so solids and liquid waste are both digested,” he says. 231-348-5866; 


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