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Ipswich, MA, USA
NEB Solar Aquatic System
New England Biolabs, Inc. 240 County Road
Ipswich, MA, 01938

Contact Information:
Contact:  David Del POrto
Email:  delporto@ecological-engineering.com
Telephone:  978 369 9440
Fax:  978 369 9440

Plant Operation: Industrial

Processing: Wastewater

Web site:

Plant/Process Description:
Solar Aquatic Systems is a natural advanced tertiary and disinfected system for 27,500 gpd serving New England Biolabs,the world's leading producer of restriction enzymes. The enzymes are basically chemical "scissors" that allow scientists to "snip" a strand of DNA and insert a recombined gene. Construction was completed in October 15, 2004.

Wastewater System Description

Designed for 27,500 gallons per day of wastewater to allow for company growth, the influent is treated by a modular Solar Aquatic System (SAS). The tertiary and disinfected effluent is permitted for ground water discharge in a sensitive environment. The SAS replicates oxygen-rich ponds and rivers in translucent tanks followed by anoxic subsurface flow constructed wetlands for polishing and denitrification.

Operating under controlled conditions, the SAS develops the natural purifying processes found in fresh water streams, ponds, and wetlands. Using sheltered systems that enhance the growth of bacteria, algae, plants and aquatic animals; wastewater flows through a series of tanks, engineered streams, and constructed marshes that metabolize or bind contaminants.

The Solar Aquatics System has been used to treat commercial and residential sewage, septage, stormwater, boat waste, and ice cream processing waste.

Major Components

The Solar Aquatics process uses fixed film substrate in the forms of plant roots and Solar Tank surfaces. The process also uses suspended growth biomass within the wastewater moving through the system. The process further combines an element of activated sludge by recycling a portion of secondary sludge to the headworks Blending Tank for reseeding bacteria and their aerobic predators.

The result is a controlled ecological system that maximizes biological degradation of contaminants. The ecosystems that are developed provide a higher degree of biodiversity than other biological treatment technologies, thereby treating a wider range of contaminants and providing a more stable and resilient system.

The Solar Aquatics System is made up of four main processing sections: (1) headworks for blending and flow equalizations, (2) Translucent Solar Aquatic Tanks® for aerobic biological processing, nitrification and removal of contaminants, (3) integrated subsurface flow constructed wetlands for tertiary treatment with an emphasis on denitrification without continuous addition of supplementary carbon and (4) solids processing for stabilization and composting of sludge and vegetative waste.

When required, disinfection and polishing components are added to deliver effluent that meet state and federal guidelines for reuse for industrial process water, flushing toilets, irrigation and makeup water for evaporative cooling towers.

The system utilizes a diverse combination of aesthetically pleasing biological components to speed the removal of organic material and nutrients by bacterial degradation. The Solar Aquatics technology is characterized by system components which provide a habitat for living organisms including translucent cylindrical tanks that optimize photosynthetic reactions and biological activity within the system, artificially constructed ponds partitioned to provide slow moving streams to replicate a natural environment, and artificially constructed wetlands where final polishing and purification are accomplished. In some applications, outdoor wetlands may also be used.
New England Biolabs
Web site:  http://www.neb.com
Operating Company:
Andrew Posner
Web site:  http://www.ecological-engineering.com
Route 128 to Exit 10A onto Route 1A Travel 4.5 miles turn right into New England Biolabs campus

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