Why Use Biological Nutrient Removal?

Posted on: 21 July 2020

In the 1970s a Dr. James Barnard invented BNR, or Biological Nutrient Removal.  Biological nutrient removal is the process where nitrogen and phosphorus are removed from wastewater prior to it being put back into the environment. This can occur regardless of where the water is going – whether it be groundwater or in naturally occurring bodies of water.  As the name suggests, this is done through biological means as opposed to using chemicals.  Using chemicals proved to not work well, where using biological means is much more effective.

When growing a garden, we often add these nutrients as fertilizer to the soil.  This encourages our plants to grow better.  As the saying goes, you can have too much of a good thing.  This is a prime example of that fact.  Nutrient build up occurs naturally in bodies of water and in the ecosystem in general. Nitrogen and phosphorus build up naturally in our water sources as sediments build up.  Having a buildup of too many nutrients creates an overgrowth of plant matter in and around natural water sources.  This is the cause of algal bloom.  Since treated water also goes back into the ground, and then into our city and township water systems for us to drink, it can also be the cause of human health issues.  The existence of too many nutrients in the water systems – whether bodies of water or groundwater – is responsible for the reduction of natural plant life and can even affect animals and fish in and around the water source. Without biological nutrient removal, there is too much build-up.  This causes issues in and around water sources.

Biological Nutrient Removal is now used worldwide to help keep our water sources free of an overabundance of nutrients.  It prevents algal bloom, and the death of naturally occurring plant and animal life, as well as preventing human health issues.  All in all, it helps the ecosystems of the areas where it is being implemented.  Through biological nutrient removal sources of water that were once unusable are now able to be utilized in different areas all around the world.  We can now implement it in areas where the water is starting to become too concentrated with the nutrients, thus preventing any future issues.  The ecosystem in these areas can become more balanced with natural plant and animal life.  Human health issues caused by excessive nutrients in the water can be reduced as well. Without biological nutrient removal, our environment would be in significant trouble.

For more information on biological nutrient removal, contact a local expert today.