In 2011, Pierce County conducted a pilot study to determine
if the DEMON (anammox) biological treatment process for reducing ammonia
would work and be cost effective at the county wastewater treatment
plant. In general, the process performed as expected and the county is
planning to incorporate DEMON into the Phase 1 treatment plant
DEMON, short for de-ammonification, uses a patented culture of naturally-occurring anammox bacteria to carry out anaerobic ammonium oxidation. This oxidation is part of the nitrogen cycle carried out in nature by microbes in oceans, soil and lakes.
Patents for the DEMON process,
equipment and specialized bacteria seed sludge for use in industrial
ammonium removal are held by Dr. Berhard Wett, ARAConsult GmbH, Austria
and Dr. Geert Nyhuis, Cyklar-Stulz GmbH, Switzerland. The process
directs the microbes' unique ability to efficiently remove ammonium and
related nitrogen compounds from industrial wastewater.