Mayglothling Waste
Mayglothling Waste

Life on Discs – Episode 1

Thank you to our Little Friends

When I  first  unpacked the microscope I could barely  contain my excitement.  You see, there is a whole community of unseen workers  toiling away, day and night to treat our waste and after many years of loyal service this was going to be my first chance to meet them face to face.

At Mayglothling we treat thousands of tonnes of waste water every month and we don’t need to add any nasty chemicals so how does it all work?

We’ve blogged before about our worms (if you missed it look here link); they sort out the solid waste, but what happens to all the dirty waste water that’s left after we remove the solids.  That’s where our unsung hero’s come in.

The dirty water still contains some dissolved nutrients and a few nasties from septic tanks.  So we feed this into our bioreactor and let nature take its course.  It’s perfect really, all we have to do is keep everything moving and make sure there’s lots of oxygen.  Now I could try and blind you with science but a picture speaks 1000 words so take a look at the clip below.


The small brown bits are bacteria and they are the trail blazers, first to populate new waste but also very short lived.  They are quickly joined by larger single celled organisms called protozoa.  The protozoa can be seen swimming through the sample and they eat the bacteria.  Eventually larger organisms develop called metazoa, they can eat protozoa and bacteria and so the circle of life goes on.  After processing in our reactor for about 24 Hours our friends have thrived and in doing so have taken most of the nutrients and nasties out of the water.  All we have to do is filter out the workers and return them to the beginning of the process, leaving us with 100 tonnes of fresh water ready to go down the river.


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