Well designed bioaugmentation products are powerful tools in environmental management, but there are vast differences in quality between suppliers. Here are some simple steps to be sure that you will be getting what you need and not something ineffective or even dangerous.
- Ask questions of the supplier to see if they understand your field of activity. There are no miracle products; water quality management is a complex issue.
- Demand documentation on the quality control and assurance program to see what guarantees are made with respect to concentration, performance and that pathogens (disease causing organisms) are not specifically mass produced as part of their process. Stating that products contain only “natural” organisms is not a guarantee of safety. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, P. putida and Bacillus cereus among others are natural but are major causes of secondary infections to man and animals. Ask your family doctor about these dangerous microbes, which some suppliers use.
- Ask to visit the production facility, even if you cannot go. If the producer invites you, that is a good sign; they are probably proud of their system.
- Ask about the background of the company and for reports — what is their experience and how many years have they been in the field? The performance of a product cannot be optimized without extensive knowledge of the field into which it will be applied.
- Inquire if theoretical and practical training programs are offered for distributors and key users. If they do, in what fields do they offer training?
You are intelligent; if you are satisfied with the answers to the above questions and are looking for cost-effective solutions to specific problems go ahead; welcome to the biological era.
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