Sludge reduction performance focus: Lagoon sludge case study

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Courtesy of In-Pipe Technology Company, Inc.

In-Pipe Technology Pipe Technology® Company, Inc., Company, Inc., Company, Inc., is an effective, environmentally is an effective, environmentally is an effective, environmentally-friendly, and fiscally friendly, and fiscally responsible method to reduce accumulated lagoon solids. By reducing accumulated sludge volumes by 40% to 85%, In- volumes by 40% to 85%, In-Pipe Technology has helped their clients significa Pipe Technology has helped their clients significant savings every t savings every year by extending the intervals between dredging events. Additional benefits are seen in improved BNR, a significant reduction of odors and collection system degradation. and collection system degradation.

This Iowa city has dredged the sludge lagoons at the WWTP every three years. 2011 was slated be a ‘dredging year’ for their two
wastewater lagoons. In March of 2011 In-Pipe was selected to reduce the accumulated solids enough to forestall the scheduled dredging and save the city a substantial amount of money. In September 2011 following six months of In-Pipe Technology service the treatment plant’s operator and city engineer determined that dredging the lagoons would not be required. The result was a net savings to the City of $170,000. It is significant to note that both lagoons were receiving solids from the wastewater plant throughout the treatment regimen.

In 2006, with the planned dredging of their four wastewater lagoons, this Iowa city was facing a staggering cost. The contract operator, who operated the wastewater facility at the time of treatment, reported approximately 180,000 gallons of digested sludge at 2%-3% solids pumped into the lagoons daily. The starting sludge depth in the lagoon was 7.8ft, which converts to 870,000lbs. The sludge added to the lagoon from the plant operating data was 810,000lbs. After the treatment program, 980,000lbs were converted in the lagoon to decrease the sludge depth by 1.6ft. Converting 980,00lbs of sludge in the lagoon decreased the total sludge by 58%. The results of biological dredging were accomplished with microbes and mixing. Based on those conditions, IPT completed their treatment program in less than 8 weeks achieving greater than a 50% reduction in pounds of lagoon total solids. The estimated starting total solids in lagoon 4 were 870,000lbs. At project inception, no definable water or rag layer could be determined. Strong odors and heavy bottom solids were present. Limited biological activity was observed.

Project Location: Iowa #1 Project Location:
Plant Type: Activated Sludge with VLR Plant Type:
Project Installed: March, 2011 Project Installed:
Plant Size: 4.0 MGD Plant Size:
Performance Summary: Performance Summary:

  • 10% Decrease in Total Sludge Produced
  • 22% Decrease in Lagoon Digested Sludge

Project Location: Iowa #2 Project Location:
Plant Type: Activated Sludge Plant Type:
Project Installed: March, 2007 Project Installed:
Plant Size: 15.0 MGD Plant Size:
Performance Summary: Performance Summary:

  • An Almost 2 Foot Change in Lagoon Sludge Blanket in 3 Months
  • 980,000 lbs Solids Converted in Lagoon

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