WATER & EFFLUENT SOLUTIONS
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS THROUGH SCIENCE
THE SYMBIOTIC AQUATIC BIOREACTOR (SABR)
Wayne Sampey, with The Earth Sustaining Sciences Institute (TESSI) over 30 years, designed, developed, proved and implemented the SABR process and its ability to treat all levels of acid mine drainage (AMD), extreme alkaline process drainage, other metals , metalloids, and organic reagents, and salinity in contaminated waters and soils. SABR allows reduction of unwanted, sub-compliant water volumes utilising tailored bioreactors to correct pH issues at all levels (0-14 pH) and remove contaminants; decreasing contamination of water, soil and the environment, thus reducing risk. SABR is scalable to any required size and throughput using open systems. In situations where space is at a premium or contaminants may be especially hazardous, the systems can be implemented in closed systems. Complex chemistries often result in a system where conditions appropriate to strip one class of contaminants are conducive to stabilisation of others in solution. SABR allows serial reactor implementation using synergistic sets of biocells, such that consecutive manifolds can control all contaminants. SABR can rapidly, naturally and cost effectively used treat AMD/ARD and process waters to a standard that allows their safe use, disposal on site, or discharge off site with negligible risk and within compliance requirements. The SABRBODS process is a unique combination of naturally occurring, localized, cooperative bioorganisms formed into manifolds or SABR Symbiotic Colonies (SABR-SC). Thus far, 360 different SABR-SC’s have been developed and proven in a wide range of conditions. It delivers commercially viable management solutions and is a societally sustainable management solution to challenging effluent and contamination. The SABRBODS process, passive, local taxon structured water and soil treatment systems have thus-far successfully remediated all globally presented soil and water challenges with the demonstrated ability to raise the pH from 0.5 pH to 8.7 pH (up to 9 pH) or reduce it from 14 pH to 6.1 pH balancing the realised effluent to neutral, stripping up to 99% of bioavailable metals and metalloid contaminants and significantly reducing salinity up to more than 95%.
Engineered examples of scalable open SABR systems
SABR-POLISHING WETLAND SUPPORT
As a useful, though not essential, addition for long term remediation projects, SABR can be implemented with an enhanced natural or artificial wetland for final polishing. Such systems work hand in hand with the SABR process to further lower contaminant levels, increasing dwell time to enable further testing of pre-release water stability should such be a requirement, and increase emergency containment in the unlikely case of a flooding event or inadvertent high flow rates. As an added benefit an artificial SABR wetland system acts as a fully bio-diverse and natural species supportive wetland. In the case of a SABR co-opted natural wetland, biodiversity and support for natural species is increased parallel to enhancement of wetland quality. A SABR co-opted wetland is a win-win for sustainable ecology, biodiversity and all benefits that flow from these key concepts. If a wetland polish is an appropriate part of a solution, TESSI can also design and implement specific SABR processes tailored to work with the wetland system already in place.
SABR Systems are scalable to any required size and throughput using open systems. In situations where space is at a premium or contaminants may be especially hazardous, SABR can be implemented in closed systems. Complex chemistries often result in a system where conditions appropriate to strip one class of contaminants is conducive to stabilisation of others in solution. SABR allows serial reactor implementation using different sets of biocells, such that consecutive manifolds can control all contaminants. SABR can rapidly, naturally and cost effectively treat acidic and alkaline process affected soil and water, (0-14 pH) reducing metals, metalloid and other contaminants to a standard that allows their safe use, disposal on site, or discharge off site with negligible risk and within compliance requirements. SABR is simply and quickly implemented. Initial tailoring of the approach is through wet chemistry, and small scale on-site pilot reactors to determine site specific biotuning and demonstrate the ability of a full-scale system. The biotuning process allows optimisation of the SABR system to site specific donor geology, commodity beneficiation processes, water chemistry and climate. Following more than twenty years of development and field proving, SABR has demonstrated effectiveness in waters associated with coal mines, gold mines, platinum mines, iron mines, phosphate refinery effluents, phosphogypsum effluents, acid refinery effluents, polymineral, rare earth element and radiogenic element bearing effluents, power station effluents, fly ash effluents, agriculture, and coal, gold, copper, zinc, lead, phosphate, poly metals, bauxite/alumina and iron ore tailings facilities. In all cases SABR delivered the solution. In all cases SABR enabled remediation of the disturbed ecology and rapid reinvigoration of riverine, riparian, lacustrine, wetland, littoral and soil systems. The SABR water solutions application assessments are conducted over 14-days, incorporating:
- Site and regional and potentials investigation,
- Design of substrates and minimal risk microbiological manifolds, and development of plans,
- Design of tailored SABR bioreactor application pilot and system development, and implementation.