Synopsis: Using a decentralized innovative wastewater technologies, such as small membrane bioreactors (MBRs), to gain green-building certification credit points.

Application: The certified BioBarrier® MBR and BioBarrier® HSMBR® System treat wastewater to higher standards that allows for onsite water reuse.

Alan Artest stared out his window as the first streaks of morning light, tapping his pencil against an unfinished blueprint. He’d been at work for over an hour, hoping he could put the last puzzle piece in place on what was without a doubt the most interesting challenge of his young career: He was designing a country club. Not just any country club. This would be his breakthrough project.

The developer had charged Alan with finding precisely the right wastewater treatment system; one that could provide enough reusable water to refill the club’s toilet, water the landscapes, and run the fountain at the entrance of the club’s long winding drive. It was a tall order, probably the highest hurdle on the way to green building certification. They both knew the project would benefit from being certified and this was a key component

And frankly, he knew it would be good for his career, too. It might catch the notice of the firm’s senior partners. Maybe then the Ten-Year Club associates would stop calling him “Probie” or “Roark.”

Most of the club’s design was done, and Alan was pleased with how it was coming together, but the remaining wastewater problem had kept him tossing all night and sent him back to the office before dawn.

An Epiphany Flew Into His Head

Suddenly something flew past his window, causing him to drop his pencil and sit up straight. He ran to the window and managed to get a second glance at the object before it disappeared from view. Alan realized that it actually looked more like a “He.” Although, this “He” was clearly robotic.

It dawned on Alan where he had seen him before; on the cover of Bio-Gineering Magazine. He wheeled around in his chair and scanned the bookshelf behind him for the particular issue. It showed the man standing with his arms crossed next to a female counterpart with her hands on her hips, both looking formidable, yet friendly. The caption read, “Meet Aerobe and Robust: the BioMicrobics pollutant-fighting B.O.T.S. Team”

“Right!” Alan exclaimed to himself, “B-O-T-S. BioMicrobics Onsite Treatment Specialists! …Treatment! … Water!…Wait a minute! I have the BioMicrobics catalog right here!”

He moved quickly to the shelf lined with a line-up of identical, white, three-ring binders, and pulled out the BioMicrobics file. After a few minutes, he found exactly what he had been looking for: The BioBarrier® HSMBR® was a membrane bioreactor, the most advanced form of wastewater treatment available. He read how its combination of biological process and membrane separation produced the highest-quality effluent of any type of wastewater treatment system.

Alan was pretty familiar with different types of membrane bioreactors. What resonated especially with him was the simple, small, yet effective design of the BioBarrier®. It seemed easy to install and maintain, but still provided robust treatment. When he read that it used less electricity than other MBRs and the system was certified for water reuse, he declared, “Yes!” to the empty room. He hurried back to his blueprint and picked up his pencil.

Finishing the Project was Easy

Working with the BioMicrobics staff the design plans were sent and submitted to the developer. Within days, the project had the prestigious “green-building” logo on it. And on his desk was a celebratory decanter of 30-year single-malt Scotch. Grinning broadly, the developer had delivered it himself as soon as they’d been notified of the certification.

Three weeks later, Alan was standing at the construction site overseeing the initial stages. The workers had begun installing the BioBarrier® system. Alan did a double-take when he saw who was with them.

Carrying the system’s air blower over his shoulder was Robust! Alan watched as Robust installed the blower while the other workers installed the system’s SaniTEE® and other parts. Occasionally, the workers would mention something and look back at Robust for affirmation, to which Robust would respond with a nod or a thumbs-up. When they had finished installing the system, Alan walked over to Robust and extended his hand.

A Robust Feeling of Thanks

“To what do we owe the pleasure, Robust? I’m Alan, the architect for this project.”

“Pleasure’s mine, Alan. I was in the States this week, so I figured I could be here for the installation. Thanks for going with BioMicrobics, by the way.”

“Thank you for giving me the idea. I was actually sitting in my office, trying to think of the right system, when you flew past my window.”

Robust laughed and rubbed the back of his head. “You saw me? You must have been up early. I usually do my speed runs at first light so I don’t alarm folks. I wasn’t too close, was I? You don’t know how hard it was, getting permits to fly that low.”

“No, no, you were fine,” laughed Alan. “But you said you were in the States this week? You do a lot of traveling?”

“Yeah, all around the world.” Robust said, as he stretched his back. “Well, I’ll let you get back to it, Alan. I’ve got some R&D to do back at the warehouse. But let me know how it works out once the place is up and running.”

“All right, thanks…hey, before you go…can I get a picture with you?”

Later that day, Alan push-pinned the photo onto his bulletin board, right next to his vacation photo of the Fallingwater house.

– Fin –