THIOGUARD® Outperforms Nitrates from Collection System to Effluent

Calcium Nitrate products are commonly used in many of the nation’s wastewater collection systems, and they do essentially one thing – they treat odors from H2S. Unfortunately, there are multiple costly and problematic unintended consequences of the use of nitrate products. In addition, while nitrate use may temporarily address H2S odor problems, nitrate products are of little or no use in combating corrosion, which is a tremendous problem both in-plant and throughout every segment of wastewater treatment infrastructure.

NITRATE USE ENCOURAGES UNWANTED BIOCHEMICAL REACTIONS…
where you don’t want them to occur.
Think denitrification…which consumes organics, and produces nitrogen gas N2 and carbon dioxide CO2, all seemingly innocuous by-products of Calcium Nitrate’s intended use as an odor control technology…but let’s take a closer look…

1. Nitrates contribute to the formation of F.O.G.
The addition of nitrates contributes to the accumulation of an odorous film, often referred to as a F.O.G. (Fats, Oils and Grease) mat in pumping stations and at your plant. Blockages associated with F.O.G. have been shown to be the greatest contributors to O&M costs including energy consumption, maintenance costs, and Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs).

2. Nitrates contribute to Gas Binding in the Collection System
The transfer of wastewater can result in the release of gases such as O2 – Oxygen, CO2 – Carbon Dioxide, N2 – Nitrogen Gas, H2S – Hydrogen Sulfide, CH4 – Methane, VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds, and VOSCs – Volatile Organic Sulfur Compounds, among others. Some of these gases are drawn into the system through pumping and ventilation, while others are generated within the system either chemically or biologically. These gases can result in the development of gas binding in the system, and are dramatically exacerbated with the utilization of calcium nitrate.

 

3. Nitrates upset the Bio-P process at your plant
The use of nitrates in the collection system alter the chemical and biological conditions of the collection system, which would otherwise facilitate the formation and transport of VFAs to the treatment plant, where they can be used by PAOs in Bio-P processes.

As VFAs (Volatile Fatty Acids) are eliminated with calcium nitrate addition, VFAs are therefore not available for PAOs (phosphorus accumulating organisms) for phosphate removal at the wastewater treatment plant.

4. Nitrates negatively impact Primary and Secondary Clarification
The addition of nitrates is not an exact science, and unfortunately, every step along the way there are costly unintended consequences. Add too little, and you’re facing odor problems. Add too much, and you’re faced with the formation of unwanted bubble-forming gases (N2 and CO2 from denitrification) in your settling tank, exactly where you DON’T WANT IT, continuing the formation of F.O.G. mat, (as well as creating an environment unfavorable to your biological processes). This often results in increased metal salts usage or increased polymer usage and associated increases in costs.

NITRATE ADDITION REQUIRES MULTIPLE FEED LOCATIONS,
THIOGUARD ONLY REQUIRES ONE
Calcium Nitrate has a short half-life in sewers, and therefore many addition locations are required to achieve adequate system-wide control. This requires several addition locations, and corresponding higher costs and operational oversight. In contrast, a single THIOGUARD Feed Unit can often replace several nitrate feed stations, and maintain a relatively constant pH level throughout.

THIOGUARD HELPS PREVENT CORROSION
Maintaining a constant surface pH of 6-8 can reduce the rate of corrosion by as much as 100X. The cost of simply ignoring this problem is monumental and THIOGUARD is the only commonly used product that has a direct mechanism to increase surface pH and prevent corrosion.

CHOOSING THIOGUARD OVER CALCIUM NITRATE WILL: 

  • Decrease maintenance costs
  • Decrease operating power costs
  • Decrease F.O.G. related SSOs and ARV malfunction
  • Improve efficiency due to reduced discharge pressure in manifolded force mains
  • Improve Biosolids
  • Save money and improve plant performance ACROSS THE BOARD!

Nurturing the Brain with Magnesium


Magnesium is everywhere – it does not occur free in nature, only in combination with other elements, but it is the eighth most abundant chemical element in the Earth’s crust and the third most abundant element in seawater; it is even the ninth most abundant in the Milky Way. In the human body, magnesium is the fourth most abundant ion and the eleventh most abundant element by mass, being stored in bones, muscles, and soft tissues.

Magnesium is fundamental for health: it is essential to all cells and to the function of hundreds of enzymes, including enzymes that synthesize DNA and RNA, and enzymes involved in cellular energy metabolism, many of which are vital. Magnesium is involved in virtually every major metabolic and biochemical process in our cells and it plays a critical role in the physiology of basically every single organ.

Low plasma levels of magnesium are common and are mostly due to poor dietary intake, which has lowered significantly in the last decades. Magnesium can be found in high quantities in foods containing dietary fiber, including green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. But although magnesium is widely distributed in vegetable and animal foods, some types of food processing can lower magnesium content up to 90%. Also, the soil used for conventional agriculture is becoming increasingly deprived of essential minerals. In the last 60 years, the magnesium content in fruit and vegetables has decreased by around 20 to 30%.

Symptomatic magnesium deficiency due to low dietary intake in healthy people is not very frequent, but a consistently poor dietary supply of magnesium has insidious effects. Magnesium deficiency alters biochemical pathways and increases the risk of a wide range of diseases over time, namely hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches, for example.

In the brain, magnesium is an important regulator of neurotransmitter signaling, particularly glutamate and GABA, the main neurotransmitters by modulating the activation of NMDA glutamate receptors and GABAA receptors. It also contributes to the maintenance of adequate calcium levels in the cell through the regulation of calcium channels’ activity.

These physiological roles make magnesium an essential element in important neuronal processes. Magnesium participates in the mechanisms of synaptic transmission, neuronal plasticity, and consequently, learning and memory. Accordingly, increased levels of magnesium in the brain have been shown to promote multiple mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that enhance different forms of learning and memory, and delay age-related cognitive decline. Increased levels of magnesium in the brain have also been linked to an increased proliferation of neural stem cells, indicating that it may promote the generation of new neurons (neurogenesis) in adulthood. This is an important feature because neurogenesis is a key mechanism in the brain’s structural and functional adaptability, in cognitive flexibility, and in mood regulation.

Magnesium supplementation has also been shown to modulate the neuroendocrine system and to improve sleep quality by promoting slow wave (deep) sleep, which, among many other functions, is also important for cognition and memory consolidation.

Furthermore, magnesium may enhance the beneficial effects of exercise in the brain, since it has been shown to increase the availability of glucose in the blood, muscle, and brain, and diminish the accumulation of lactate in the blood and muscles during exercise.

But just as increasing magnesium levels can be beneficial, magnesium deficiency can have serious harmful effects.

Magnesium has important roles in the regulation of oxidative stress, inflammatory processes and modulation of brain blood flow. In circumstances of magnesium deficiency, all of these functions can potentially be dysregulated, laying ground for neurological disorders. Also, in a context of low magnesium availability in the brain, NMDA glutamate receptors, which are excitatory, may become excessively activated, and GABAA receptors, which are inhibitory, may become insufficiently activated; this can lead to neuronal hyperactivity and to a condition known as glutamate excitotoxicity. This causes an excessive accumulation of calcium in neurons, which in turn leads to the production of toxic reactive oxygen species and, ultimately, to neuronal cell death.

Magnesium deficiency has been associated with several neurological and psychiatric diseases, including migraine, epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, stress, and neurodegenerative diseases. Magnesium supplementation has shown beneficial effects on many of these conditions, as well as in post-stroke, post-traumatic brain injury, and post-spinal cord injury therapies. This therapeutic action is likely due to its action in blocking NMDA glutamate receptors and decreasing excitotoxicity, in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, and in increasing blood flow to the brain, all of which are determinant in the outcome of these conditions.

There are multiple benefits to be obtained from magnesium, both from a health promotion, and from a disease prevention and management perspective. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is of 320mg for females and 420mg for males. Too much magnesium from food sources has no associated health risks in healthy individuals because the kidneys readily eliminate the excess. However, there is a recommended upper intake level for supplemental magnesium, since it can cause gastrointestinal side effects. So, keep it below 350mg/day.

 

Magnesium, Hard Water, and Health

The risk relationship between hard water and reduced cardiovascular disease is well known, but it’s the magnesium portion of the hardness that accounts for most of the beneficial effect. Magnesium is important in hundreds of biochemical processes, and adult daily requirements are approximately 300-350 mg/day. Most Americans consume less than the optimal daily amount of magnesium recommended for good health. Although diet is the major source of magnesium, drinking water can be an important contributor, and the uptake of magnesium from drinking water is more efficient than from most dietary components except milk/dairy. Dairy intake tends to decline with age, so even a small (~10 mg/L) consistent lifetime contribution from water can be an important supplement as we age. Bottled waters and naturally soft and softened waters tend to have little or no magnesium.

WATER AND MAGNESIUM CONSUMPTION

Approximately half of the US population has been shown to consume less than the daily requirement of magnesium from foods (USDA & HHS 2015). The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee considered magnesium to be a shortfall nutrient that was under-consumed relative to the estimated average requirement (EAR) for many Americans. Magnesium deficiency and hypomagnesemia manifest in numerous disorders and diseases. Although diet is the primary source of intake, drinking water can be a lifetime contributor of supplemental magnesium to one’s total daily intake depending on the source water composition and the treatment it has received.

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