Bio-augmentation is the process of adding micro organisms to improve the effectiveness of waste treatment. This addition of micro organisms is usually necessary because the incoming influent does not contain the type or quantity of microbe's needed to initiate the breakdown of the polymers (fats, oils, proteins, carbohydrates-starch, etc.), which is essential in both aerobic and anaerobic systems. The process of polymer degradation is accomplished by the excretion of extra cellular enzymes (lipase, protease, amylase, etc.). A variety of extracellular enzymes (amylases, proteases, lipase, urease, cattiness, etc.) and anti-microbial products.
The extra-cellular enzymes play a vital role in breaking down the polymers in the organic material, thus, degrading the organic input and reducing the sludge accumulated in the pond. Essentially, these enzymes conduct the first, often rate limited step, in the degradation of polymers. This activity produces smaller molecules that can be absorbed and transported into the cells for growth.