Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

  • AditiOS1
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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Dear Dean,

The pumps we use here have a much higher head ~7-8 mtrs, we intend to regulate the flow using float switch and rotometer for the flow per hour and timer for batch operation. As the septic tank is already constructed increasing the capacity of the septic tank would not be possible, however we can definitely look at the size of the vermifilter and the recirculation rate. Due to certain aesthetics at the site, the max height that we can manage is 1.5 mtrs so would be working out the fruit crates according to that, ventilation should not be an issue as there are perforated versions available.
Planning to start with 10 kgs worms, hopefully they would get enough food and like our vermifilter and multiply abundantly.

Would share info and photos as the work progresses.

Edited to add: As we would not be requiring the gravel, should we pack the whole vermifilter with wood chips or the humus/vermicompost should be added as half of the volume ?

Regards,
Aditi
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  • AjitSeshadri
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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Dear Aditi.
Its good to note that you are onto an intricate project involving vermi action with worms etc..
You would be aware that feed for worms have to be pre-cooked i.e kept in anaerobic state for some time.. and then fed in the vermi beds..
or else you can give a separation between the 1st stage and the 2nd stage wherein the worms are added..
All the best.

Prof.Ajit Seshadri.
Vels University.
Chennai.
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  • goeco
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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hi Aditi,
Although the crates are well ventilated, also make sure your enclosure is well ventilated, both for air flow but also to ensure excessive heat isn't trapped inside. The worms will die if it gets too hot... you might need to shade your vermifilter.

Don't be in any hurry to add the worms. Their purpose is to maintain the porosity of your media (which isn't a problem in the early days of operation) and they "graze" on the excess microorganisms that build up on the surface of the media. The microorganisms do the work and these take a few weeks to build up on your media. Once operational, wait for a month or two before you add the worms... and don't expect miracles straight away.

If you are using fruit crates and recirculating, use just woodchips. They have good porosity so your hydraulic loading can be high. Over time the woodchips will start to decay and the worms will produce humus, so the hydraulic retention time will stabilise and you'd reduce hydraulic loading. 

cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
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  • BPopov
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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hi Dean!

Look what I have done with the crates!
forum.susana.org/52-shared-toilets-commu...toilet-in-kiev#21516

Regards,
Bo

Bogdan Popov
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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hello Dean!


Do you think it would be able to run a primary black water vermifilter for a family house with 4-6 inhabitants who come there and live for several days and then may be away for a month, although sometimes 1-2 people in the house, sometimes up to 8? Would a recirculation from secondary tank downstream be an answer meaning that vermifilter is constatly kept wet? However no regular feces input -- I mean very fluctuating. Will the worm population ajust ?

Thanks,
Bogdan

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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hi Bogdan,
definitely. I remember a discussion here in NZ, animal activists were saying it was cruelty to animals (worms) because the population could starve if the food runs out (such as holiday homes). Yes true! However, there is always eggs and more will grow, they adjust to the food source. I've found that if there is toilet paper being used the pile becomes like a reserve food source. No toilet paper and the worms can keep up with the incoming poo and thus have less reserve.

I've found one of the strengths of vermifiltration is that influent can vary without the system failing. Make sure that ventilation isn't excessive and the pile will not dry out too much for a month or more, so no need for recirculation, unless you want better treatment or you are incorporating greywater. Also make sure that your digester is well insulated in your cold climate so that worms are not killed unnecessarily.

cheers
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Thanks Dean! This sounds promising. I will suggest a black water vermilter for my freind"s part time occupeid house. Mybe help them to build one this year
Regards,
Bogdan

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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hi Dean!
Can you think of the minimal volume for the primary vermidigester? Something like 100 l will be enough?
Best,
Bogdan

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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hi Bogdan, 100 litres will be nowhere near enough. Depends on number of users, but bigger is better, especially in a cold climate where it would be good to have surplus capacity. Twin digesters with 300 litre capacity might need to rotate every 5 months, whereas with 600 litres capacity each they would not need rotating for at least 5 years. The "pile" needs to be able to spread outwards freely, so a diameter of at least 1m is best, and you don't want the pile building upwards too much in cold season and blocking the entry.
cheers
Dean

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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hi Dean! Thank you !

But what if we go for more often switch say 1 month or even less and have more than two digesters? What I am interested in is what in general the minimal volume for the biological process of vermidigestion to happen. I know that 100 l is enough volume for composting to happen (though not so fast as in a bigger pile). Or it possible on condtition that you add there enough worms right from the start?

Best,
Bogdan

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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hi. Researchers & Developers. It is great to note the deliberations on vermi filter. In certain of our sites in India we use say 20% by volume -
partly cured excreta from cattle. A lot of benefits and if bio mass is available use them also. All this is required to keep e - worms healthy and well at their work. As saying goes if worms are good both in quantity and quality then the filter will be very fine... w wshs from Prof Ajit Seshadri. Vels University.Chennai.India.
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Re: Vermi-Trickling Filters (or vermifilters) for Sewage Treatment (looking for help to design)

Hi Bogdan,
Wet composting seems to work differently than ordinary composting. With wet composting the heap degrades from the outside-in compared to inside-out with ordinary composting. I trialled 70 litre baskets a few years ago and didn't have very good results, degradation was slow so the baskets filled rapidly. I attribute that partly to lack of time for a stable population of worms to develop (the baskets filled too quickly) but more importantly, in smaller baskets surface area to volume is reduced.


(I'm discussing primary digesters here where toilet paper is used. A heap is inevitable.)

Pretty rough drawing, but the area highlighted in orange is the area that the worms work. They don't venture into the core because it doesn't have enough oxygen, so they work from the outside. See how the small basket has a very large core and a small outer area for the worms to work?

With lots of area for the heap to expand outwards, it tends to "flatten" as it spreads. This ensures fast degradation.

Helpful? What is your cunning plan?

cheers!
Dean

Dean Satchell, M For. Sc.
Go-Eco Sustainable Solutions
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