Environmental Engineers and Scientists


Question:  We have an existing aerated lagoon system.  Our new discharge permit is adding nitrogen limitations.  Can our system be upgraded to provide nitrogen removal?

Answer:  Yes.  Under most circumstances an aerated lagoon system can be upgraded through the addition of baffles, surface or diffused aeration equipment, and mixing equipment to provide near complete nitrifications and denitrification.  These types of upgrades are typically significantly less expensive, i.e. 50 percent or more savings, than new mechanical treatment systems.

Question:  Our existing dissolved air flotation system provides reasonably effective treatment, but does not always meet our pretreatment requirements and produces excessive skimmings.  Can our system be upgraded to improve treatment performance and reduced skimmings?

Answer:  Yes.  In many cases existing DAF systems can be effectively upgraded by simply installing state-of-the-art pH control equipment and enhanced air injection systems.  Each system is somewhat unique, but an effort should be made to optimize system chemistry and air injection before considering a new system.

Question:  We have an anaerobic lagoon with a natural grease cap cover.  We periodically experience odor problems with the lagoon.  Can the odor issues be addressed? 

Answer:  Yes.  There are two solutions that will potentially address the issue.  pH control and bioaugmentation products are available that can reduce the formation of odorous gases.  Where issues can not be addressed through chemical addition or bioaugmentation floating membrane covers can be installed in place on existing lagoons.  Anaerobic lagoons provide very cost effective and efficient treatment and should not be abandoned without considering these options for upgrading performance.

Question:  We have an existing activated sludge system that is equipped with high speed surface aerators.  We experience difficulties with nitrification during winter months due to temperature drops.  Are options available to upgrade our system to increase winter operating temperatures with a major facility expansion?

Answer:  Yes.  Existing systems can be upgraded to increase operating temperatures through the installation of floating diffused aeration systems that reduce or eliminate the use of the surface aerators during winter months.  These systems not only improve winter time performance, but also provide additional aeration during peak demand periods.

Question:  We utilize dissolved air flotation with chemical addition for pretreatment prior to our biological treatment system.  Our chemical costs and skimmings handling costs are excessive.  Are there options to reduce our operating costs?

Answer:  Yes.  If land is available, construction of a covered anaerobic lagoon can provide significantly reduced chemicals costs and skimmings handling costs.  Additionally, a covered anaerobic lagoon provides improved overall treatment efficiency through increased ability to handle shock loadings and increased ability to manage waste sludges internally.    

Question:  Our concentrated animal feeding operation has lagoons for wastewater and solids handling.  We do not have sufficient land to land apply our wastewater at agronomic loading rates for nitrogen and phosphorus.  Is there a solution our problem? 

Answer:  Yes.  Technologies are available to provide nutrient removal through biological treatment and/or chemical addition.  Each system has to be evaluated individually to determine whether these technologies are cost effective.  

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