All of our representatives are degreed individuals
from diverse backgrounds with hand-on operation
experience of biological treatment processes.

Our Treatability Lab is one of our many tools used to predict
and troubleshoot problems for multiple industrial waste streams.

We don’t just sell products, but turn key Product Programs
that link our products to regular laboratory testing and technical
assistance together to keep biological treatment systems fully optimized.


Paper Mill

Troubleshooting anaerobic treatment of paper mill waste is a notch above the typical calculations of COD balances, macronutrient requirements, and Food to Mass ratios. These advanced systems can have advanced problems. Some of the issues we have seen are chelating tannins, a multitude of oxidizers, and soft wood terpenes. These obstacles can cause elevated VFA and solids loss if not addressed. Click on a link above to see how we help clients tackle these road hazards.

Ethanol & Cellulosic Ethanol

Sometimes the Methanator can be viewed as the liver of the ethanol production process. The effluent from the Methanator is vital for ethanol production as it goes right back to the front of fermentation. Optimized Methanator effluents are those with no more than a touch of grey color, no acetic acid, no effluent solids, and COD removals consistently greater than 95%. When operating at peak performance the Methanator can help shorten the intensity of infections, reduce acetic acids, curtail enzyme usage, and minimize operator interaction time. Check out a link above to see what an optimized Methanator looks like.


“River Bend Labs has worked for many years with the top brewing companies in the United States, and across a whole range of different sized breweries from Micro Brews to the leading producing breweries in the country. We are familiar with the environmental challenges facing brewery waste water treatment such as ; Beer Dumps, Trub, Spent Yeast Solids, and Diatomacous Earth on both the Aerobic and Anaerobic process treatment types. We have successfully helped our clients overcome these challenges and optimize their system for maximum environmental sustainability.”


From producing apple juice to wine, this industry has its unique set of challenges. The most common issues we see are oxidizers from the CIP systems, macronutrient deficiencies, and rapid COD changes from product cycles. Oxidizers primarily come from CIP and can be amplified when there are lots of product changes. That’s why we like to key in on the ORP to understand how much the bacteria can handle. Macronutrient deficiencies are prone because many of the juice products have a high carbon load. The 1000:5:1 ratio is our go-to calculation for flushing this out. Lastly, COD overloads can cause problems when the campaign wants to ramp up faster than the bugs can handle. When that happens the VFAs can get out of control. To see how much the bugs can really handle to use an Activity Test.


Production demands on the wastewater department can be strenuous. Facilities need to process more and keep costs down. One of the ways to keep a system effective and efficient is by optimizing the front end anaerobic treatment so the back end stays steady. Cleaners such as quaternary amines and paracetic acid do a great job of killing bacteria on the production floor and they also do a great job of killing bugs at wastewater. Minimizing or neutralizing quats and paracetic can be a great start to improving the effectiveness of the anaerobic bacteria. Nitrifiers are also sensitive to cleaners and might need to be reseeded after a chemical shock. Check out how we have been able to help meat processors recover from upset conditions.


High ammonias can happen with the nitrifying bacteria are upset. Nitrifiers are a sensitive group of bacteria. They don’t like to work until most of the COD is gone, they find a nice surface to live on, and there are no presence of toxic compounds. They rely on the other heterotrophic bacteria to buffer spikes from the DNF, eat any toxic compounds, and provide them with surface to grow. One of the ways we have been able to help the Oil and Chemical industry is by giving them an artificial medium to grow on. Check out how Nitraloc helped this refinery bounce back from an ammonia spike and increase ammonia loading in the existing footprint. Not only did they removed ammonia, but they had better settling.

Wet Corn Milling

The corn kernel has a simple appearance but can be broken into complex pieces. Wastewater treatment performance can vary depending on which part of the corn gets down to wastewater. High solids loss, elevated VFAs, and mechanical issues are all too common at wet corn mills. The high solids loss can happen with an system designed for ethanol gets some oil or vice-versa. VFA’s are common when the food to mass get high from spike loadings. Mechanical problems are unfortunately also much too frequent. Over time settlers can become unlevel, feed headers star to plug, and mixers don’t mix like thy used to. Identifying mechanical issues is one of the hardest things to do because you almost have to exhaust everything biological first.

Ground Water Remediation

Bacteria are pretty good at figuring out a way to eat anything we throw at them; as long as what you give at them is part of a balanced meal. Ground water remediation sites are left with the task of removing one specific compound such as selenium or perchlorate, but have none of the other components needed to sustain biological life. In a simplified view; a carbon source, nutrient source, and the right amount of oxygen are all essential to keeping a reactor healthy and performing well. Where we help the most is by providing the right mix of micronutrients so they have a healthy environment. Macronutrients such as nitrogen a phosphorous always make the list. Micronutrients such as Molybdenum, Zinc, and Copper are often overlooked.

Anaerobic Digestion for Biogas Production

“I can’t generate enough gas to run my generator” is something we hear a lot about. The design says to put in this much manure or other substrate and I should get X amount of gas. To answer that question we need to know a little more about the system. Is Ammonia at toxic levels? How much COD are you putting in? Where are you pH’s at? Is an outside substrate toxic or inhibitive to bacteria or even degradable for biogas? Answers to these questions will help us calculate how much gas you really should be producing so you can get that generator up a running. Don’t know anything about Volatile Solids? Get a kit here.

Case Study Spotlight

Refinery Case Study
A northern California refinery was on the road to slowing down increased production of refined oil products due to the build up of TKN laden wastewater.
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