Big Fish Environmental Eliminates E.Coli and Enterococci in Biosolids

Things just keep getting better for Big Fish Environmental, a Michigan-based company that specializes in the design and construction of septage and high strength wastewater receiving and treatment facilities throughout the United States. A recent Michigan State University study concludes that Big Fish Environmental’s Class A biosolids have concentrations of E.coli and enterococci below detection limits.

The study, undertaken by Dr. Sangeetha Srinivasan of the Department of Crops & Soil Sciences, analyzed and compared treated and raw septage samples from Big Fish’s Charlevoix, Michigan plant. The associated report states, “Septage is one of the sources of fecal contamination of water bodies; others include wastewater treatment plants, manure runoffs, wildlife etc.” The study compared levels of E. coli and enterococci in raw septage with those of the Big Fish treated biosolids.

Cultivation (cfu) and new molecular methods were used to track the fecal material through the process. Samples were processed for growth on standard culture for E. coli and enterococci. Extraction methods were also carried out from processed samples using Roche MagNa Pure LC instrument (Roche Applied Sciences, Indianapolis, Ind.), and qPCR analysis was carried out for E. coli and Enterococci (Srinivasan et al., 2011) and removals were 99.99% and greater.

After treatment in the Big Fish system, all of the biosolid samples had concentrations of cultivatable E.coli and enterococci below the detection limit, which is 0.33cfu/g. John Campbell, originator of Big Fish Environmental LLC, is pleased with the study’s results. “This study confirms our own analyses and is an important result for us to share with the industry.”

The Michigan State study follows on the heels of an endorsement Big Fish received in 2010 that is based on a 13 month verification test performed by NSF International under the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ETV Program’s Water Quality Protection Center. According to Tom Stevens, an NSF Water Quality Protection Center Manager, the Big Fish Environmental system “provides a viable technical solution to the pervasive problem of septage treatment at wastewater treatment plants. The Big Fish System demonstrated effective treatment of septage and high strength wastewaters, making the effluent treatable at a wastewater treatment plant, and making beneficial and sustainable use of recovered biosolids.”

Big Fish Environmental works in both the private and public sectors, including collaborative efforts, and its turnkey system is tailored to fit almost any need from a small facility serving a private septage hauler to a municipality handling septage and biosolids. Started in 2004, Big Fish Environmental is recognized as the only facility in Michigan to produce an Exceptional Quality Class A Biosolid and redistribute
it as a beneficial fertilizer. To learn more about this cost-effective, turnkey septage and sludge receiving and treatment facility, visit the Big Fish Environmental website:

Srinivasan, S.; Aslan, A.; Xagoraraki, I., Alocilja, E. C. and J. B Rose 2011. Escherichia coli, Enterococci, and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron qPCR signals through wastewater and septage treatment, Water Research, In press (pg 1-12)

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