Meet the Bio-Dome, or Poo-Gloo

February 8, 2011

A poo-gloo!

The methods by which any village, town or city treats its toilet wastewater may not be a pleasant olfactory issue, but necessary, nonetheless. “Poo isn’t something generally talked about in polite company but like it or not, all of that human waste has to go somewhere,” read the lead in a recent Gizmag.

As the story accurately pointed out, many rural communities use wastewater lagoon systems because they are more affordable than mechanical treatment plants. Mechanical plants may process waste more quickly but they are considerably more expensive and require a higher investment in labor.

A viable alternative for mechanical wastewater management – called the Bio-Dome (aka: Poo-Gloo) – has been developed by Salt Lake City-based Wastewater Compliance Systems, Inc. It can serve as an affordable wastewater treatment option for the thousands of municipal areas worldwide. And the nickname, Poo-Gloo, appears to be sticking.

This igloo-shaped device uses a combination of air, dark environment and large surface area to encourage the growth of bacteria which consumes the wastewater pollutants.

According to the company website, the science behind this device is as follows: “Bio-domes consist of several concentrically nested domes that are infused with low pressure air to optimize the growth of naturally occurring bio-films. Bio-domes sit on the floor of a lagoon and are completely submerged. As water flows through bio-domes, bottom-to-top, beneficial bacteria effectively reduce biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), and ammonia-nitrogen (NH3/NH4+) in waste water lagoons prior to discharge.”

Applications for the product are widespread. They include municipal wastewater treatment systems, industrial disposal and treatment systems, aquaculture systems, and impaired water situations.

According to Wastewater Compliance Systems a Poo‐Gloo unit occupies 28 square feet (2.6 square meters) of space on the bottom of a lagoon and creates 2,800 square feet of surface area for bacterial growth. The combination of large surface area, aeration, constant mixing and a dark environment that limits algae make Poo‐Gloos capable of consuming pollutants at rates comparable with mechanical plants.

As for energy demand, these devices use the same amount of electricity as a 75-watt bulb and can be powered with solar or wind energy systems.

Photos: Wastewater Compliance Systems


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Glenn Meyers

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.
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