Floating Biofilm Media

five types of wastewater system biofilm media for comparison
As these media get smaller, their treatment capacity goes up.

Biofilm. It’s not a documentary narrated by David Attenborough; it’s the organic factory that cleans wastewater in our BioTank biological reactors. Biofilm is a population of microorganisms that attach to a filter media and form a biological slime layer. As wastewater flows over the biofilm, the microbes consume the organic material. This means that the more square meters (m2) of biofilm present within a treatment system, the more treatment can take place. Earlier aerobic treatment tanks used suspended growth and fixed film systems which could treat wastewater down to TSS (Total Suspended Solids) and BOD5 (Biological Oxygen Demand) concentrations as low as 20mg/L. Those are impressive numbers compared to traditional onsite system effluent, but those older systems had to be especially large to accommodate a large enough population of microbes to get the job done. Also, treatment was quite slow requiring several days.

But those days are over!

example of a floating biofilm medium
Our treatment systems feature hundreds of these floating media

Aqua Tech’s BioTanks feature one or more* chambers filled with floating biofilm media. These media hold the slime layer rather than allowing the microorganisms to contribute to the suspended solids as with suspended growth systems. Because they move around through the wastewater, they treat more efficiently than fixed film.

How efficiently?

We actually have numbers to answer that question. Remember that when it comes to biofilm, more square meters means more treatment. More square meters per cubic meter (m3) means more treatment in less space – greater efficiency. Our floating media incorporates an incredible amount of surface area per cubic meter. With highly advanced production methods, we can now offer very small media with very high m2/m3 (square meters per cubic meter).

The evolution of floating biofilm media…

Five sizes of wastewater biofilm media
As the media get smaller, the biofilm gets larger.

The photo above shows five generations of floating biofilm media. Let’s look at the m2/m3 for each of them.

This one is a little smaller than a shot glass. It can host 440 square meters of biofilm to every cubic meter of treatment tank.

This one is about the size of a thimble. It’s surface area per cubic meter is over twice the amount of the first one.

This one could fit in a half teaspoon. It’s surface area is 2200 m2/m3.

Now get ready for an evolutionary jump!

Talk about biological engineering. Look at that thing! This little Pringle-shaped wafer boasts 4000 square meters per cubic meter.

It’s this kind of technology that enables Aqua Tech systems to treat down to <10mg TSS & BOD5 within a tiny footprint. And now, with a demand for high efficiency Single Family systems, we’re pushing the boundaries even further.

This little guy is smaller than a nickel. All of those tiny holes translate into a whopping 5000 square meters of biofilm per each cubic meter.

But the Biochips aren’t just pretty to look at. See them at work below!

Let us put one of our high tech wastewater treatment systems to work for you today! Just click the button below to get started.

*Number of chambers containing floating media varies by model and application