November 19, 2019, Hayward, CA.—Microvi Biotech Inc. and Oro Loma Sanitary District (OLSD) are pleased to announce the installation of a full-scale Microvi MNE wastewater sidestream treatment system at the 20 MGD OLSD treatment plant in San Lorenzo, CA in 2020. The multi-million dollar collaborative project will be conducted between Microvi, OLSD, and engineering firm HDR Inc. and is funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and OLSD. Key elements of the project include:

  • First full-scale sidestream treatment system in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Solution has the potential to deliver significant nitrogen reductions at lower capital costs and reduced operating costs for treatment plants worldwide
  • In the San Francisco Bay alone, the cost effective Microvi MNE system could be used at 21 Bay Area treatment plants
  • Potential reduction of OLSD’s nitrogen discharge by 1,100 pounds (lbs.) per day, or 400,000 lbs. per year
  • As part of this project a Disadvantaged Community Advisory Forum (DCAF) will be formed to engage regional disadvantaged communities on topics related to climate change, nutrient discharge, water quality, workforce development, and public education

This full-scale installation follows an EPA-funded analysis of sidestream treatment in the Bay Area. The analysis, led by East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), showed that treating this small volume of highly concentrated effluent represents a promising, cost-effective strategy to substantially reduce nitrogen loads for 21 Bay Area treatment plants with anaerobic digesters.

The sidestream is the liquid resulting from the dewatering of anaerobically digested biosolids– which is typically routed back into the facility’s treatment process. This stream represents approximately 1% of the flow entering a wastewater facility but 20% or more of the nitrogen nutrient loading.

Microvi MNE Technology

“Microvi MNE is a dynamic and unique biological solution that has the power to make a significant positive impact on our environment and for the communities we serve. We are excited to work with Oro Loma Sanitary District and the U.S. EPA in implementing breakthrough solutions that benefit society and the planet,” said Dr. Fatemeh Shirazi, CEO of Microvi.

“Microvi’s technology is compelling because it is simple to operate and maximizes the value of existing facilities. We look forward to working in partnership with the EPA, Microvi, HDR, and UC Berkeley to implement the technology and perform robust testing to demonstrate its effectiveness and evaluate its potential use industry wide. The team’s efforts will result in a healthier San Francisco Bay Area,” said Jason Warner, General Manager of OLSD.

“We are excited to be leading the effort in using forward thinking solutions for wastewater treatment and are proud to partner with an innovative local firm to improve water quality in the San Francisco Bay Area” said Dan Walters, OLSD Board President.

San Francisco Bay has been resilient to eutrophication/algae bloom but studies are showing that this historic resilience is declining—making the need for additional methods of treatment a priority for the Bay Area. As the resiliency declines, low-lying disadvantaged communities are expected to see the most immediate and significant impacts. Unless these impacts are mitigated through infrastructure improvements and new technologies such as Microvi MNE Technology, these impacts may include decreases in land values, lower quality of life, and disproportionate economic burdens.

According to an extensive report published by Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, optimization strategies might only lead to a load reduction of 7% for a short term period (approx. 10 years) and substantially higher capital costs, whereas implementation of sidestream treatment could result in a total nitrogen load reduction of nearly 20% for a longer period (approx. 30 years).

“San Francisco Bay is the heart of the Bay Area’s biodiversity and economy,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “EPA is proud to be a partner with the Oro Loma Sanitary District and the wastewater sector to invest in innovative technologies that reduce nutrient loading to the bay.”

Using Microvi MNE Technology has the potential to reduce OLSD’s nitrogen pollutant discharge by 1,100 pounds (lbs.) per day, or 400,000 lbs. per year. Microvi MNE will improve the reliability of nitrogen removal across the entire treatment process by separately treating 20% of the nitrogen load. The Microvi MNE process advantageously converts ammonia only to nitrite, reducing energy consumption by 25% and reducing carbon dosing by 40%.

The Microvi MNE technology uses novel biocatalytic composites (MNE biocatalysts) that intensify and extend the life of biological processes, while maintaining a controlled population of microorganisms at a much higher density than existing technologies. Despite the complexity of the MNE biocatalysts themselves, the design and operation of the systems are simple with no complex process controls. In addition, Microvi MNE does not produce additional solids and reduces energy and carbon requirements.

This project builds upon the successful demonstration of Microvi MNE at Oro Loma Sanitary District showing full Nitrogen removal in less than two hours.

About Microvi

Microvi is a green technology company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that delivers next-generation biotechnologies for the water, wastewater, and renewable chemical industries. Microvi offers commercial technologies around the world to reduce waste, increase productivity, and provide disruptive economics across the value chain. Learn more at

About Oro Loma Sanitary District

Oro Loma Sanitary District, formed on August 7, 1911, is one of the first agencies in Alameda County, California. As a special district, Oro Loma provides wastewater collection and treatment, solid waste and recycling services. The District serves several communities, including San Lorenzo, Ashland, Cherryland, and Fairview, as well as 40% of the City of San Leandro and small portions of Castro Valley and the City of Hayward. Oro Loma’s service area is located about 13 miles south of Oakland, on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay.

About the EPA

For more information about EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund, visit: For more information about EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grants, visit:



Karin Kidder
Vice President of Marketing, Microvi
(510) 344-0668