Local authorities regularly face threating blockages in their sewer networks caused by accumulated fat in the mains. The curative and preventive removal of accumulated fat in the sewers represents a significant expense for sewage system managers, particularly municipalities. An alternative to this kind of fat removal is the stimulation of microbial degradation by means of the in situ, controlled delivery of suitable microbes. The secondary effects of such microbial products have not yet been closely studied.
Sewer system cleaning costs can be cut and the functionality of the sewers increased by preventing the accumulation of FOG (Fat, Oil and Grease). This can be achieved by the activation or introduction of suitable microbes in the sewer.
The possible damaging secondary effects of such an application have yet to be explored. This project will research the secondary effects by means of literature, lab and pilot studies. Among the issues addressed will be the impact of the use of the microbial product on the functioning of the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).
New knowledge and insights into the effects of FOG degradation processes will make it possible to determine the extent of any damaging secondary effects. If such effects are shown not to exist, the potential for the wider application of microbial degradation of sewage fats to prevent the accumulation of FOG will be boosted. This could result in a significant reduction in the cleaning costs of sewer systems.