Traditional Waste Water Treatment vs. Phytoremediation with Nualgi Ponds

This article examines the traditional process for waste water management and introduces the benefits of using Nualgi Ponds to support native bacteria in the aerobic process similar to commonly used bioremediation solutions.

We’ll try to cover everything on this dense topic, but please contact us if you would like more information.

There’s a unique, natural way to enhance water quality that leads to better agriculture and improved health of livestock and people.

traditional water treatment facility


Let’s Start by Defining Phytoremediation and Traditional Waste Water Treatment

Traditional Waste Water Treatment is the process of removing contaminants from water, including household sewage and effluents. It includes physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove physical, chemical, and biological contaminants. Its objective is to produce an environmentally safe fluid waste stream and a solid waste (or treated sludge) suitable for disposal or reuse.

Phytoremediation is derived from Latin which literally translates to “healing with plants” and describes the treatment of environmental problems (bioremediation) through the use of plants that mitigate the environmental problem without the need to excavate the contaminant material and dispose of it elsewhere.

water treatment systemTraditional Waste Water Treatment vs. Phytoremediation with Nualgi Ponds

Overall description of the diferrences and overview of Nualgi’s potential

[expand title=”Release Oxygen and Aerate the Water Naturally with Nualgi Ponds
Nualgi Ponds causes the native diatoms present in all water bodies, including sewage, to grow. The oxygen produced by diatoms causes the native bacteria to grow and these work in the same way as the bacteria in aerobic process and bioremediation solutions. Diatoms release pure oxygen during photosynthesis. The dissolvability of pure oxygen is much higher than that of air as in traditional waste water treatment. Higher DO levels lead to cascading improvement in water quality, aquatic life and bio diversity.

Traditional Waster Water Treatment uses high powered aerators to induce air into waste water. The air comprises Nitrogen and Oxygen and not pure oxygen. Consequently, increase in dissolved oxygen levels is less and energy consumption is high.

While traditional waste water treatment has no direct benefit on aquatic life, the diatoms created by Nualgi Ponds are the natural food for fish and very useful for treating the water directly. Fish population, protein level and fish mass increase manifold, thus offering a source of living for many fishermen along the river. The biodiveristy index increases, which is critical for rivers.

Traditionally waste water is treated off site and then introduced into the river. This treatment does not keep pace with the amount of waste in certain situations. Nualgi Ponds can be dosed into drains and tributaries feeding into the river, as well as the river itself.

An increase in dosage can treat higher volumes of waste water thus keeping pace with increasing biochemical oxygen demand.

The diatoms from Nualgi promote aerobic bacteria and therefore the organic sludge on the river bed gets consumed and the river maintains its depth. River dredging efforts are minimized except for navigational purposes. Traditional waste water treatment causes sludge which has to be disposed of. Any nutrients like dissolved nitrates and phosphates flowing out with the treated sewage will cause bacteria and algae to grow in the river.

Nualgi Ponds contains micro and secondary nutrients which have a very beneficial impact on agriculture. Crop growth is improved significantly with the enhanced water rich in nutrients required for healthy plants. The sludge produced by waste water treatment plants can be used as fertilizer but transporting is expensive and cumbersome.

The increase in aquatic life results in more water borne mosquito larvae consumed in the water as fish food as well as the same effects also produced by clean and treated water. Overall the impact on climate change and carbon fixing is still to be determined with traditional waster water treatment. Studies show that diatoms produce 25% of global oxygen and fix 23% of world carbon. River treatments have shown this can cause a significant contribution to global climate change, but of course precise calculations still need to be analyzed over years of data on a global scale.

There is minimal investment and no large civil works facilities to use Nualgi Ponds. It can be poured directly into the lake or housed in small tanks to appropriately dose the waterway. Traditional waste water treatment needs interceptor drains, land acquisition, civil construction works, and intrusion into sensitive regions leaving a strong impact on the local environment.

Due to large land acquisitions with long civil works processes the time to being remediating the water is far longer than desired and certainly shorter than the amount of time it takes to pour Nualgi Ponds around the edge of the waterway. In comparison to the large cost of building and operating a facility there are very little capital requirements.

Maintaining a large facility incurs large repair costs and replacement of failed parts. O&M costs can be as high as 10% per annum for the facility, whereas Nualgi Ponds costs are overall less than the 10% and could potentially be offset by growth in fish population.

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