SludgeHammer Group, Ltd.

SludgeHammer Group, Ltd.

SludgeHammer Group, Ltd. helps solve the world’s wastewater treatment and reuse problems by providing safe, environmentally appropriate, efficient and effective microbial biotechnology for residential, community, industrial and marine use. IT provides design consultation and engineering for industrial applications and community scale systems.

Company details

336 S. Division Road , Petoskey , Michigan 49770 USA
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Water Treatment
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

The SludgeHammer Group northern Michigan corporate headquarters is located for optimum manufacturing and distribution throughout the United States and internationally. Since 2001, our regional distributors and installers have served customers from California to Maine, Louisiana to New York and globally in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Latin America, Africa and China.


Dr. Dan Wickham, a Ph.D. in biology, worked for many years detoxifying petroleum contaminated soil with the use of micro-organisms. In order to bring the same technology into wastewater treatment, he used his decades of experience as a research ecologist at the University of California to guide the introduction of applied microbiology to the industry. He experimented with blends of microbes and tried them out in a variety of circulating containers. Eventually he developed his break-through concept, the Aerobic Bacterial Generator (ABG), and opened the pathway to apply advanced biotechnology to wastewater treatment in a simple and economic fashion. His latest version, the SludgeHammer, is fully refined, tested and is now working in thousands of septic systems and larger industrial waste systems throughout the world.

Septic systems fail. And the reason they fail is the soil in the disposal field clogs up with slime from the anaerobic (unoxygenated) bacteria that were once in your digestive system. The very protective coating that allows this bacteria to do its job in your gut ultimately ruins the typical septic system. Until SludgeHammer, you had only two very costly options—you could repair or replace your system. The SludgeHammer is built to give you a third, and better, option.

Waste and unoxygenated bacteria are the primary reason for failure of traditional septic systems. When large colonies of these anaerobic bacteria migrate from the septic tank to the disposal field they produce a mucus-like layer of slime, or biomat, which clogs the pores of the soil so air cannot circulate. Additionally, as they grow, this anaerobic bacteria creates large amounts of nitrate, a toxic element when produced in large quantities, which can, over time, seep into the local water table. The usual solution at this point is to pump the waste and clogs from the septic tank and start a new disposal field—costly solutions to a now avoidable situation.

SludgeHammer provides an integrated two part response to the problem of long-term wastewater management. Oxygen is lethal to the anaerobic bacteria that inhabit septic systems. Simply and affordably, the SludgeHammer system can be installed into any existing septic system, aerating and circulating the effluent within the septic tank killing off all of the anaerobic bacteria.

This introduction of oxygen creates the perfect environment for the SludgeHammer proprietary blend bacteria. The SludgeHammer matrix itself, with 150 square feet of surface area for the bacteria to grow and form colonies on, is placed in the inlet chamber.  Liquid in the tank circulates through the unit, over the aerated bacterial colony, at a rate of 15,000-20,000 gallons per day, ensuring that every drop of liquid is processed up to 20 times a day. In this set up, the voracious SludgeHammer blend bacteria consume and digest the organic waste. The SludgeHammer microbes are so efficient that they turn effluent into clear water before it heads to the disposal fields, making clogs nearly impossible, and all this without producing the biomat slime that ruins septic systems.

The SludgeHammer bacteria then proceed with the clear effluent into the disposal field where they digest the biomat slime and reopen the soil pores. Even though there is no air mechanically circulated to the disposal field the SludgeHammer microbes still thrive. Instead of directly absorbing oxygen the microbes strip nitrite of oxygen before it is turned into the more toxic form of nitrate, creating nitrogen gas through the process. Nitrogen, an abundant element within the atmosphere can now circulate out of the soil. As the SludgeHammer microbes digest the biomat the disposal field is revitalized and can once again accept and process the clear effluent coming from the SludgeHammer inoculated septic tank.

The SludgeHammer microbes leave no resources for anaerobic bacteria to grow so they are defeated through competitive exclusion. The SludgeHammer microbes do not pose a threat to septic tank and disposal field clogs, because they break down organic matter and do not create the biomat slime produced by anaerobic intestinal bacteria.

The bacteria will maintain a colony indefinitely as long as they are provided oxygen and waste, meaning a permanent solution to wastewater clogging and disposal problems.

The SludgeHammer system is a living system. It grows as it has resources and decreases when resources are limited, meaning that it can customize itself to meet any needs. SludgeHammer has proven its adaptability and efficiency at unclogging and revitalizing failed septic systems. The same SludgeHammer system has also been adapted for marine and other uses, where the same basic technology breaks down organic matter into clear water which can then either be reintroduced into the local water table or repurposed for irrigation.