Formerly Alexco Environmental Group (AEG) and Contango Strategies

What is Biological Water Treatment?

Biological water treatment systems, also called passive or semi-passive systems, are part of the overall water management system and include constructed wetland treatment systems, biochemical reactors, pit lakes, and in situ groundwater, saturated rock fill, and underground mine pool reactors.

Biological water treatment systems contain naturally occurring microbes. Microbes typically do the work in a biological water treatment system and can treat a wide range of constituents of importance, including metals (e.g., antimony, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, nickel, lead, and zinc), metalloids (e.g., selenium), sulphate, and nitrogen compounds (cyanide, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite).

In order to select, optimize, or troubleshoot biological systems, it is important to understand the microbes that are doing the work. Identifying the types and quantity of microbes will allow you to determine if you are encouraging the right kinds of microbes and achieving targeted performance.

Do You Sell Microbes?

No, we do not. Microbes that establish in a biological treatment system are typically those that are naturally in the water.

I’m not an expert in microbiology, will I be able to understand the results?

Yes. Each report includes a summary of key information about your microbes. By selecting the package appropriate to your sample, you can ensure there will be easy to understand, relevant information in the report. Experts are on staff to help you select the appropriate test package for your system when you submit samples. We also have consultants on-site to assist you in applying your results if you would like additional support.

What types of samples can I submit?

Almost any type of sample can be processed, such as soil, water, slime, swabs, plant roots, waste rock, ore, concentrate, leachate, filters, biofilms, and other industrial liquids. Sample collection and submission instructions can be provided along with our Chain of Custody form for sample submission.

How long does it take to get my results?

Standard turnaround time is a maximum of 30 business days, depending on the test requested. Rush processing is available – contact us for information and cost.

How is the data reported?

Each report includes the analyzed, compiled and quality-controlled data in excel format with the identity, community composition (percentage), quantity (if requested), and relevant information about the microbes in your samples.

Can samples from different submissions be compared?

Yes. With our proprietary database, microbes can be compared across any samples that you have submitted using the unique ID for each microbe. If you would like a comprehensive comparison of your microbe data to performance monitoring parameters, we would be happy to develop a program that will address your needs.

How long have these tests been around for?

The MCP and qPCR tests have been used in a broad range of industries across Canada and around the world for more than 7 years.

What type of quality control is involved?

Internal positive and negative controls are included in every test. Standard curves are included in each quantification test. These controls ensure we can assess background noise, standard deviation, and reproducibility over time.

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