Three grease problems - one solution

Cellinite Technologies Inc. solves odor and FOG problems with a timed-release tablet, BioTabs, that combines aerobic bacteria with oxygen, pH buffers and nutrients to create an optimal environment for biodegradation. Three case studies -- two from Rhode Island and one from Kansas -- show the technologies' effectivenss: 1) a community wastewater treatment facility, 2) a Dunkin Donuts pastry producer, and 3) a wastewater solutions consultant...

Cellinite Technologies Inc. solves odor and FOG problems with a timed-release tablet that combines aerobic bacteria with oxygen, pH buffers and nutrients to create an optimal environment for biodegradation.

NEEDHAM, MA, July 28, 2006 -- The easiest and most cost-effective solution for grease build up is through "pre-treatment." Treating the grease at its source reduces the back-up and build-up problems that can occur in municipal sewer systems; not to mention, problems associated with grease traps, wet wells, and lift stations. Pre-treatments usually required handling of hazardous materials that cause disposal problems and health issues; while other products can be messy and need additional equipment for adequate grease reduction. Cellinite Technologies Inc. of Needham, MA, has developed a non-hazardous easy-to-use solution that is effective in reducing grease and grease build-up without the need of expensive mixing and dosing equipment and additional man-hours.

Cellinite BioTabs™ is a solid tablet treatment for wastewater that uses a patented oxygen-delivery system to support aerobic bacteria in the breakdown of organic solid waste and grease. When applied to wastewater, the tablet sinks to the bottom of the collection system where it begins to super-oxygenate the wastewater from the bottom of the tank up. Buffers, nutrients, and aerobic bacterial spores are then distributed throughout the wastewater in the oxygen plume created by the effervescing tablets; thus, beginning the breakdown of organic waste and grease throughout the whole collection system.

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) have become an issue of concern. Food processing facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, and lift stations (just to name a few) are faced with grease build-up and grease discharge problems everyday and are spending many thousands of dollars a year on expensive treatments, equipment, and pump-outs. If proper maintenance is not provided, grease can begin to stick to piping and collection system walls; eventually coating whatever is surrounding the wastewater and grease. In lift stations and wet wells, grease will float on top of the wastewater and eventually create a grease shelf and/or a grease cap. As this build-up continues, sewer systems leading to treatment facilities and lift stations can back-up and lead to system failure. Lift stations, collection systems, and wet wells that have grease built up run less efficiently; not to mention, the grease build up reduces the total volume of wastewater that gets treated. All of these issues can lead to serious maintenance problems, added operations costs, and expensive replacement solutions.

In this case study, three scenarios are presented, where these oxygenated biodegradation tablets from Cellinite helped reduce grease problems in different applications.

East Providence Wastewater Treatment Facility
The East Providence, RI, wastewater treatment facility found Cellinite BioTabs to be a cost-effective solution to their maintenance of a grease collection pit. Grease skimmed off of the primary tank is collected into a 7,000 gallon grease pit. Prior to using the solid tablets, the grease pit had to be pumped out about four times a year to keep the grease pit effective. To pump out the tank, a septage hauler would be used at $100 an hour at a cost of $339 per 9,000-gallon tank. The grease is then transferred to another treatment facility were it costs $345 per percentage of grease solid; in East Providence's case, they would average between 12-17% of solids per transfer. The pumping would cost about $450.00 and the treatment would at least cost $4,140; altogether, it cost about $4,600 per maintenance and about $17,000 annually. Not to mention, the large amount of grease degrading in the grease pit resulted in noxious odors that were followed by complaints from the neighborhood.

Thomas Azevedo, assistant superintendent of the East Providence Water Pollution Control Facility, witnessed how the tablets reduced hydrogen sulfide (H2S) levels in a force main from the town of Barrington, RI, and wanted to try the tablets to help ease maintenance of the grease pit. East Providence applied six tablets twice a week on Monday and Thursday. The grease pit and its contents were then mixed with a portable compressor for 60 minutes to ensure proper blending. The next day, Tuesday and Friday, all of the free liquid was decanted from the pit and returned to the primary tank. After seeing positive results in reduction of grease solids and odors, the town has continued to use this process for 16 months and have only pumped out the grease pit once in that timeframe.

The pumping was not because of grease build up, however, but to remove a build-up of plastic material that was normally collected due to previous maintenance operations. Due to the elimination of grease pumping as a result, the East Providence wastewater treatment facility has cut its maintenance costs in half. In addition to using the tablets in their grease pit Azevedo also applies the tablets to its ITT Flygt pump stations and to the influent line to an injector pump station to clean up the build-up of grease in the injector pot.

Ocean State CPL
Ocean State CPL, of East Providence, RI, is a central processing location (CPL) for franchises of Dunkin Donuts. It prepares menu items like donuts and pastries at this central location and then delivers the food to about 25 franchises, with a total of 135 individual stores. This is an efficient way to produce the variety of doughnuts offered by the Dunkin Donut restaurants -- but producing that much food can create a lot of grease for disposal. After operating for less than a year, all of the grease produced from the facility began to clog the sewer system on its block. Grease literally rose out of manhole covers connected to the sewer line down the street from the facility. To prevent fines and citations from the sewer authority, the company had its exterior grease traps and associated sewer systems immediately pumped out. With all the donuts and pastry being produced, Ocean State CPL needed an efficient treatment to control the amount of solid grease leaving its facility and grease traps.

Cellinite Technologies approached the pastry maker about its grease problems. To eliminate sewer clogs it was decided that the best place to start solving Ocean State's grease problem was to treat two 1,000-gallon exterior grease traps located under its parking lot, accessible through manholes. This location was selected to apply Cellinite BioTabs because the facility had to pump grease directly from these traps once every eight weeks to prevent future backups in the sewers at a $750 rate per pumping.

Ocean State pumped out the external grease traps before treatment to ensure the trial would be as efficient as possible. Afterwards, each external grease trap needed to be treated with six tablets daily (12 total). During the initial application, the tablets were dropped directly into the exterior traps. The solid grease concentrations were so high that the wastewater resembled thick mud and the tablets would rest on the top of the grease. After a few daily treatments, though, the tablets would drop directly into the wastewater in a way that the operators would have to step away from the manhole to avoid being splashed, a clear sign that the technology was breaking down the grease. Maintenance manager Dave DiPietro commented on how effective the tablets were in breaking down the grease and how easy it was to maintain an effective trap: "Now that we have been using the BioTabs, we should be able to pump out quarterly now" instead of the previous eight week schedule.

Ocean State also was experiencing clogging and back-ups in its floor drains. A large clean-up effort takes place after each shift. Grease and other cooking materials that are spilled or dropped on the floor are swept or hosed into these drains and, just like the external grease traps, the drains started to backup as well. DiPietro had to have a "roto-rooter" go into the facility and clear out the drain three times in the past year at a flat rate of $650 per visit. Due to the positive results in the external traps, DiPietro began thinking about other places he can try applying the biodegradation tablets and decided to start applying one in each drain per week. The treatment has been so effective since the initial treatment of the drain lines that they haven't had any backups and haven't needed the services of a "roto-rooter."

Alpha Supply Co. LLP
Fred Eisenbarth, of Alpha Supply Co. LLP, contacted Cellinite Technologies in May 2006 about a grease concentration problem one of its customers was facing in Kansas. Alpha Supply is a consulting company that specializes in wastewater solutions and equipment for wastewater associated problems. A customer approached them concerning a grease concentration problem in one of their lift stations. A large sports bar and grill is connected to the customer's lift station and all of the grease produced from the restaurant is ending up in its wet well. The wet well is 4 feet in diameter and handles about 40,000 gallons per day and pumps about 250 gallons per minute. The wastewater is about 2.5 feet high when not running and about 5.5 feet high when operating. One of the problems is that the city pumps out the wet well every six months allowing sufficient time for grease to build up.

Due to the high volume of grease and the reduced pumping schedule, the wet well eventually formed a grease shelf that was 12-16 inches thick and about 6-8 inches wide. As mentioned previously, these grease solids are a detriment to lift stations because it makes them run less efficiently -- more power is needed to run them and there's less volume for wastewater.

Eisenbarth read a case study about Cellinite BioTabs and their ability to reduce H2S and grease concentration in a lift station in Barrington. After contacting the company, a specific trial dosage for Eisenbarth's case was proposed. During the initial treatment, Eisenbarth had to carefully throw the tablets into the wet well because the grease shelf was covering the wastewater. For fast and effective results it's important the tablets are submersed into the wastewater instead of resting on the grease shelf so they can treat the wet well from the bottom-up. Unfortunately, due to the grease cap's thickness, any of the tablets that failed to drop into the wastewater would rest on the grease shelf. But after continued daily treatment, the tablets that submersed in the wastewater broke down the grease cap from the bottom and those that were inaccurately thrown would break off pieces of the grease cap -- eventually breaking down the solid layer completely.

Eisenbarth began using 10 tablets for four days, but was able to reduce his treatment to 5 tablets daily. Eisenbarth is continually treating the wet well with only 5 tablets a week and is able to control the grease that is entering the lift station.

Conclusion
Under a variety of conditions, Cellinite BioTabs are effective in controlling solid grease. It's an environmentally-friendly solution that requires no additional equipment for proper treatment and can reduce operation costs and ease maintenance. Unlike other treatments, it's safe to apply in sewer and septic systems; has no disposal restrictions and is not hazardous to wastewater treatment facilities. It's a patented product everybody can use.

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