The Illegal Dumper
In 2015, the City of Elko, Nevada’s Wastewater Treatment Plant was experiencing a mysterious foaming problem that occurred every second Tuesday of the month. Digester Doc interviewed plant management, took some samples, and conducted an in-depth forensic study. Upon examination, unusual amounts of metal and oil were found in the mixture. Digester Doc was able to determine that the culprit was either an automotive or mining operation.
Following our sample testing, the City of Elko received our additive recommendation, which stopped the foaming in the digester. Upon further investigation, the source of the contamination was a local mechanic. The City of Elko was able to address the local mechanic, who was dumping up to 50 gal of used motor oil down the storm drain each week, curbing any future contamination issues.
The city of Elko lost approximately $30,000 to the foaming incident, but saved an additional $50,000 in projected costs by acting quickly. Furthermore, the WWTP avoided fines by the EPA for stopping the foaming and returning to peak operational capacity within 3 months.
1000% Production Increase
New Energy One, LLC approached Digester Doc in 2016 requesting assistance in increasing their production. They are an anaerobic digester facility comprising (6) 1-million gallon continuous flow digesters and were only able to produce 2MW/day of electricity. At this time, the digesters suffered a foaming incident and crash, resulting in the lower production. They did not know how to fix it or prevent it from happening again.