Bacteria, living one cell microorganisms, are present throughout our environment.
Bacteria can be either disease causing (pathogenic) or “friendly” (non-pathogenic). However, we are only concerned with friendly bacteria that help degrade waste & control odors.
The bacteria cultures are “eating machines” whose sole purpose is to decompose and digest organic matter. All bacteria must eat to stay alive. Bacteria do not have mouths or teeth with which to eat. Bacteria produce enzymes which break down organic waste into liquids that can be absorbed by the bacteria. The bacteria convert the absorbed liquids into carbon dioxide and water which are harmless to the environment.
Enzymes are actually catalysts which initiate the chemical processes involved in digestion. Bacteria are like sponges that absorb organic waste which has been liquefied by enzymes. After a short period of feeding on liquefied waste matter, each bacteria subdivide into two identical and fully functional duplicates of the original. This “replication” process will continue as long as an adequate food source exists to fuel the process.
Increased bacteria count means increased enzymatic activity which results in faster decomposition and digestion of organic waste. The role of bacteria is to eliminate organic waste and consequent odors.
This information item was provided by Rob Griffiths, Public Works Foreman to explain “How Bacteria Work” in the District’s wastewater treatment system.
Interior Health and District of Clearwater remind customers of the provincial recommendation that newborns and people with weakened immune systems drink boiled water or a safe alternative at all times if served by an unfiltered surface water source.
Health risks increase as turbidity rises. Stay Safe.