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Defining F.O.G. and encouraging lift station microbial population to aerobic state
F.O.G., or fats, oils, and grease, accumulation in the collection system lift station can be up to several feet thick causing serious issues for collection system personnel. This wastewater matting can be difficult to remove and can cause lift stations to clog and shut down operation. When removed manually with utility labor and by hand, the matting build-up usually comes back within a couple of days.
Aulick was asked to solve this problem for a utility in Central, KY and while we offer a range of effective lift station degreasers, our team developed an entirely new device to mitigate the matting build-up issue.
First, what is F.O.G. accumulation, where does it come from, and how can my utility avoid it?
The following are examples of everyday uses of F.O.G.:
Where do they come from?
F.O.G. will collect and build up to form matting in the sewer system when flushed or poured down residential drains/sinks as well from commercial and industrial facilities. Wastewater matting due to F.O.G. will usually be at its worst just down line from large commercial areas that feature fast food restaurants and other businesses.
How can my utility avoid it?
In short, it’s extremely difficult to avoid matting due to F.O.G. Public utilities are often times at the mercy of what their local communities and business flush and discard into the sewer system. Utilities have had short term success with marketing and PR campaigns that serve to educate the public on which items should never enter the wastewater stream. Unfortunately, it only takes a small handful of people to discard of these materials for your utility to have F.O.G. matting issues.
Installed on a permanent or temporary basis, and designed to meet individual lift station specifications, the Matador features a manifold that’s inserted into the wet well. Air is circulated into the manifold and sent out each side to create a first stage in digestion thus promoting healthy biological growth by breaking down solids into a more digestible form. Oxygen creates an aerobic environment preventing the future production of hydrogen sulfide where thiobacillus bacteria can flourish and consume existing hydrogen sulfide.
In the case of the Central, KY utility, the Matador was first set to run on a timer of 24 straight hours to eliminate the initial matting build-up. After this time, Matador operation was set to turn on and off throughout the day at 2 hour increments to avoid additional and future matting issues. Aulick worked hand in hand with collection system personnel to determine Matador run time due to different variables at each lift station location.
Learn more: The Matador – Wastewater Matting Eliminator
During site visits, Aulick took before and after photos to illustrate the severe matting build-up issues this utility were having. As shown below in the gallery, the matting was extensive at first, forming a cake-like layer of sludge. The next photo shows Matador during operation and the matting beginning to dissipate. Lastly, a clear wet well is shown after Matador operation. In this case, the customer was happy with the outcome of the Matador and installed the unit on a permanent basis.