Microbes in the News.

These bugs could help Seattle’s poop spill. But they’re hibernating.

KUOW Seattle news and information: Tuesday, April 4th     https://kuow.org/post/these-bugs-could-help-seattles-poop-spill-theyre-hibernating

The West Point treatment plant

The West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle  was crippled by a flood last month, and now it continues to spit solid waste into Puget Sound. In order to clean up after the spill the treatment plant relies on microorganisms to  break down the solid organic material that’s in the waste water. The microorganisms need heat and food to survive, but the flood damaged the boilers that heat the plant. Therefore, the microorganisms have been dormant or in hibernation ever since the treatment plant got damaged, and until the boilers are fixed and the heat restored, the microbes will remain in hibernation.

I think this best ties to lectures that we had earlier this semester on growth and nutrition, but also to lectures about microbial metabolism and physiology. I did find this story pretty amusing, although it wasn’t a very technical article about microbes and their function I do think that it gives relevant and decent information.  I thought it was interesting how the microbes could go into a dormant state, and also how they used the microbes to clean up after the spill, but how exactly do the microbes clean up after a spill like that?



1 Comment for “Microbes in the News.”



Your article caught my eye because it was so different from the rest of the posts. I thought it was really interesting that the plant uses microbes to break down the waste and provides optimal environments for them to do their job. I think that this article can really be related to the oil spill lecture that we had in class a couple of days ago. Since when oil spills happen microbes are also used to clean up the oil. I think that the microbes would clean up the waste in a similar way that they clean up the oil. Fertilizers can be used to promote microbial growth however this wouldn’t help with the temperature problem.