The elimination of fecal coliforms and e. coli in lagoons

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Courtesy of Reliant Water Technologies

Many horse racetracks throughout the world are designed to drain water from the track into a lagoon that is located in the infield of the track. Due to the track being predominantly used for horse racing, there is a high amount of fecal coliform, especially of the Escherichia coli species, bacteria in the water that drains from the track. During the racing season, fecal coliform and E. coli counts increase dramatically and the subsequent drainage of these lagoons can become a problem for the receiving waters.

In early 2011 an engineering firm contacted Reliant Water Technologies concerning this problem at a major track in the northeastern U.S. The track was under pressure by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to perform some type of cleanup of the water before it was allowed to enter a small stream that was adjacent the track. Reliant Water specializes in rehabilitating waste lagoons, and assisting waste lagoon owners in making their lagoon outfalls compliant without the need for expensive dredging services.

The subject lagoon is just over 3 acres in size, holding over 3 million gallons of water, Figure 1. Upon investigation it became apparent that the lagoon exhibited an excess in coliform contamination primarily during the warmer months of the year, while daily racing was taking place. During the winter, when there was no equestrian activity on the track, analyzed water samples exhibited little or no bacterial populations.

Reliant Water’s proposal was to utilize a Reliant Model WQA Water Moving Aerator in the lagoon in order to move the bottom sediments while aerating the water. This sediment movement would free any excess coliform bacteria that might inhabit the lagoon’s bottom sediments while aerating those sediments so natural bacteria would be able to populate the sediments. The aerator would require an Ice Option so that it could operate throughout the winter when ice formed on the surface of the lagoon. Additionally, Reliant proposed periodically adding a patented poly-microbial sludge reducing product to the water, called Sewper Rx. This product had previously been proven to successfully attack and eliminate fecal coliform species, including E. coli.

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