Synopsis: What products should owners use with onsite wastewater treatment systems? Aerobe explains. Application: The line of environmentally-friendly, biodegradable Mighty Mike® maintenance products will help keep the environment clean, pipes flowing, and odor under control. __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Aerobe stood by the rail at one of many observation points at the harbor and watched as ships’ tenders moved to and from the massive ocean liners in the deeper waters just beyond the harbor. Tender traffic was busier than usual, due to the cruise line conference and trade show soon to take place in the massive convention hall behind her. Several cruise lines were entertaining suppliers on their ships. Others were ferrying purchasing agents to the harbor for scheduled presentations. Aerobe’s colleagues had given her a hard time about her plum cruise assignment, but she would have very little leisure time. She was on the program to present a series of seminars on BioMicrobics® and Scienco/FAST® products, focusing on the Mighty Mike® environmentally friendly maintenance line. She would log many hours at the exhibitor’s booth, plus she was slated for one-on-one client consultations. Before the fast pace got underway, she was taking a moment to reconnect with the rhythms of the sea. Closing her eyes, she could sense of the pull of the tides, the complex ecology of marine plants and animals, the water currents swirling and ever-changing. As crowds from the tenders filed toward the convention hall, Aerobe was aware of a shift in their chatter as they caught a glimpse of her. She heard an exchange of whispers. “Is that a statue?” “No, I saw it move!” “Are we headed to the right place? This isn’t Comic-Con, is it?” A smattering of laughter greeted the last remark, but then she heard someone—obviously a repeat attendee—say, “No, that’s Aerobe. She’s a B.O.T.! She was at the last conference.” Waving to her, he shouted, “Hi, Aerobe. You probably don’t remember me. . .” Aerobe waved back and said, “Milo, good to see you again! Hope you’ll stop by the booth. Uh-oh, it’s time for my lecture!” As she rose and headed to the BioMicrobics® Scienco/FAST® booth in the exhibition hall, out came cell phones to capture the moment, including the beaming Milo, whom Aerobe remembered was an assistant purser at a major cruise line. Aerobe paused briefly and waved to the group. Aerobe understood that a B.O.T. at any convention was still a novelty, so she graciously obliged photo requests. In years of trade show experience, she’d seen many self-conscious selfie-takers become conscientious environmental defenders over time. Having a photographic memory didn’t hurt either. People loved being greeted by name. At the exhibition hall, she found her lecture area already packed. An overflow crowd would watch a simulcast on a nearby jumbo screen. By now, Aerobe had the presentation of the Mighty Mike maintenance and cleaning supplies down to a science, literally. Attendees were eager to hear the science behind the biodegradable products, where they worked best, and why. Aerobe began by stating that the Mighty Mike line included a low-sudsing laundry detergent, surface cleaners, and an odor-control product. This day’s focus, however, would be the specialty liquid descalers and tablets to keep marine pipes and lines clear of debris from clogs and constricted water flow. Aerobe referred to these products as a ship’s “#1 Defense” to keep continuous water feed systems working without disrupting treatment in the marine sanitation devices on board. “After all,” Aerobe stated, “All drains lead to the treatment devices and chief engineers—no matter how talented and capable—are not plumbers!” She scanned the crowd and noticed several engineers she’d met before. “Am I right, Arnie? Are you a master plumber yet? Dave? Lars?” A chorus of laughter and “Not me!” responses came from the crowds around the attendees who were delighted to be recognized. Aerobe picked up a container of Mighty Mike Marine Descaler. “If surfaces have mineral deposits, rust, or calcium buildup, pour Mighty Mike Marine Descaler directly in the constricted water line or pipe; it will dissolve the buildup. It’s non-toxic and biodegradable and it is specially formulated so it won’t pit, corrode or oxidize any metal surface, even aluminum parts.” Hands shot up as the crowd warmed both to the information Aerobe’s engaging delivery. “Can you use it on surfaces that come in contact with sailing waters?” “Yes, these products have no adverse environmental effects.” Aerobe announced, “Now, how many of you have had problems like calcium buildup in pipes or grease clogs?” Just as she had anticipated, there were many hands in the air, nodding and “Oh, yeah!” responses. Aerobe held up several three-inch tablets. “These are Mighty Mike CPT Tablets—CPT stands for Calcium-Prevention Treatment. Their time-release action is activated by flushing to remove calcium plaque and prevent its return.” “Does it leave a residue that you have to remove?” “No, there’s no waste product.” “Can you use it in vacuum toilet systems?” “Yes, as proven effective in a study by the U.S. Navy.” “What makes it work?” Aerobe smiled, “That’s Mighty Mike’s secret. It’s a proprietary polymer-bound formulation that can dissolve the toughest calcium buildup.” Aerobe continued, “Mighty Mike is a good galley hand, too, unblocking clogged pipes. Mighty Mike FOGHog® Tablets—FOG stands for fats, oils, and grease—and U&F-BOOST!® Tablets release billions of active, robust organisms per gram that activate immediately, feeding on waste and breaking it down to clear the clog.” “Can the tabs treat sewage, too?” “Yes! Ongoing use of U&F-BOOST! ® tablets help maintain a healthy population of organisms to treat sewage in tanks and help bring back systems that experience toxic shock, overload or underload situations, and just general low-level treatment to help deliver at least a little bit of treatment in the tank when the vessel owner is not ready to upgrade to advanced treatment technologies.” After several more questions, Aerobe wrapped up her presentation, “Thank you for listening and for your thoughtful questions. Brochures, case studies, and a representative list are on the tables by the exit. Be sure to visit me at our exhibition booth to see before-and-after demonstrations of these Mighty Mike products in action. Just look for the Better Water, Better World Banner in the exhibition hall. Or follow me now. That’s where I’m going.” A grim galley group Visitors to the booth were non-stop all afternoon. Finally, Aerobe excused herself and returned to the harbor in anticipation of the welcome cocktail reception aboard the S.S. Apogee. A group began gathering for the tender to the party but Aerobe opted to get to the ship under her own power. She lightly touched down on the deck and started toward to the veranda where the cocktail crowd would gather. Since she was early, she decided to stop at the galley. She knew the galley was the lifeblood of any cruise line, but this one seemed particularly abuzz with activity and excitement, almost frenzied, conversation. As she stepped into the gallery, all eyes turned to meet her. And conversation stopped. Then a deep voice said, “Aerobe?” The source of the question came from an imposing figure addressing the galley crowd. She assessed the stripes on his white jacket and said, “Good evening, Captain…” “Brody, Emerson Brody,” he provided, as he steered her away from the galley crowd. “I’ll bet you’re here for the cocktail party. I’m glad you came early, so I could thank you in person!” “Thank me? For—?” “First, let me apologize for the commotion you walked in on. The chef was having a meltdown. In the next few hours, there will be several hundred people aboard for the launch of this cruise conference. And of course today would be when the galley pipes become sluggish and threaten to clog altogether. Luckily the food prep is all done.” “Do you know the source of the problem?” Aerobe asked. “Yes, I discovered some cleaning products with quaternary ammonia the crew had been using that was causing calcium plaque buildup in the pipes. And with the prep for tonight’s event, lots of fats and grease entered the system. This was probably inevitable.” “You seem pretty calm about it all, Captain Brody.” “Grace under pressure, that’s what these stripes really stand for. Maybe I’m still too new to know when to panic,” he laughed good-naturedly. Timing is everything “Actually, I was part of the overflow crowd that caught your lecture earlier today about the Mighty Mike products. That’s what I need to thank you for. Talk about perfect timing! I returned to the ship and contacted your representative to arrange for the quickest possible delivery of—what were those tablets called? CPT Tablets—as a ‘time-release’ tablet to dissolve the scale and calcium build-up? Plus, I heard FOGHog® tabs for the oils and grease management. I need help with that! “Also, did the rep suggest Mighty Mike U&F-BOOST! ® tablets too?” “Sure did! Said those hungry little organisms—billions of them—would attack the waste and break down the fat to get—and keep—our system shipshape! When you came in, I was talking the galley crew down from the ledge, assuring them that if we could get through tonight’s gala, we would be in good shape once Mighty Mike gets here. Fortunately, this is our only big event during the trade show. In fact, I’ve insisted that my crew get to the exhibition hall this week and get up to speed on what it means to be the greenest ship on the ocean. That’s my goal for the S.S. Apogee.” The captain straightened his jacket and put on his hat. “Now I believe I have party guests to greet.” He gave Aerobe a smile and offered her his arm. “May I escort you to the veranda and offer you a cocktail.” Aerobe grinned back at him and said, “Oh, maybe just a small glass of the house diesel.” Captain Brody look startled, then roared with laughter. “B.O.T humor,” Aerobe said simply and took the captain’s arm. Aerobe spent the evening adding new acquaintances to her photographic mental database, and explaining what a B.O.T. is almost as frequently as posing for photos.