Iowa 2-Day Hands-On Advanced Lagoon Workshop

iowa lagoon workshop

Learn everything you need to know to troubleshoot and optimize your wastewater lagoon and keep the cost of necessary upgrades to a minimum.

Norway, IA: May 6–7
DeSoto, IA: May 8–9

In this intensive two-day workshop, you’ll discover the latest techniques, methods, and strategies to:

  1. Improve BOD and TSS removal and maximize treatment performance
  2. Diagnose and treat common lagoon problems like odors and sludge
  3. Cost-effectively upgrade your lagoon to treat ammonia, phosphorus, and pathogens
  4. Enhance process control with online monitoring and automation

You’ll also go on-site to a local lagoon system for hands-on instruction on how to test and sample a lagoon for optimization, including how, where, and when to pull samples and how to analyze the data.

Two-information packed days. 1.4 CEUs (14 contact hours).

Practical information and case studies will help you to ensure your lagoon system’s compliance now and in the future, as Iowa enforces more stringent permits.




8:00–8:30 am: Registration check-in

8:30–10:00 am
Chief Failings of Lagoon Systems: Six main reasons why lagoons fail. The importance of biomass, hydraulics, sludge, testing, and maintenance on lagoon performance. Case study on diagnosing a coliform problem.

10:00–10:15 am: Break

10:15–12:30 pm
Ammonia Removal: Nitrogen removal pathways and the eleven key factors that determine the rate of nitrogen removal. The chemistry and biology of nitrogen removal in lagoon systems. In-depth analysis of various lagoon ammonia removal methods with pros and cons and relative costs. Case studies including system characteristics, permit requirements, and evaluation of cost factors.

Lunch in class provided by Triplepoint.

12:30–2:45 pm
Field Testing Onsite at Norway or De Soto Lagoon System
Hands-on testing of the lagoon system. The basics of how to test and sample a municipal wastewater lagoon system for optimization, including dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrate, temperature, and alkalinity, using a DR 1900 and test strips. How, where, and when to pull samples. How to properly sludge judge a lagoon. How online monitoring and automation can improve process control.

2:45–3:00 pm: Return to classroom

3:00–4:30 pm
Diagnosing Wastewater Lagoon Problems. How to determine the source of lagoon problems. The eleven things an operator must know to troubleshoot or optimize a lagoon. The essential role of monitoring and record keeping in solving problems in a lagoon system. How pond chemistry changes over the day and year. Sampling locations and a discussion of the value of different tests. How to interpret test results.


8:30–10:30 am
Data Interpretation: Analysis of the field data for dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrate, temperature, and alkalinity.

10:30–10:45 am: Break

10:45 am–Noon
Diagnosing and Troubleshooting BOD5 Problems. How to tell if your lagoon can handle additional load from a new subdivision, jail, hotel, handle septage, or industrial waste. Understanding CBOD5 vs. BOD5. Diagnostic BOD5. Case studies from the field on solving BOD5 issues.

Noon–12:30 pm: Lunch (provided)

12:30–2:00 pm
Troubleshooting TSS Problems. What is the relationship between BOD and TSS? Algae-related TSS problems and algae’s effect on BOD. Where and how to sample. The six steps to take to isolate the cause of a BOD5 problem. Typical loading rates. The benefits of algae. Algae’s problematic side and in-pond strategies to remove algae. Methods for controlling algae growth. Lagoon colors and their meaning.

2:00–2:15 pm: Break

2:15–2:45 pm
Sludge Accumulation and Removal. The problems accumulated sludge creates. Ten signs indicating it is time to remove sludge. Fifteen things that affect the rate of sludge accumulation. Typical sludge removal rates. How to determine the volume of sludge, sludge judging and core sampling. Things to consider before sludge judging a lagoon and how to prepare for this test. Formula for determining sludge volume and mass. How to desludge a pond. Getting free sludge removal. The effect of accumulated biosolids on ammonia removal.

2:45–3:30 pm
Troubleshooting Ammonia and Phosphorus Problems. Nitrogen removal pathways and the eleven key factors that determine the rate of nitrogen removal. The chemistry and biology of nitrogen removal in lagoon systems. How to optimize a lagoon system for nitrogen removal. Case studies from cities that have controlled their ammonia and phosphorus problems.

3:30–4:30 pm
Pond Hydraulics for Enhanced System Performance. How a small amount of short-circuiting dramatically affects pond system performance. Solutions to poor hydraulic design.

2-Day, Hands-On Advanced
Lagoon Optimization Workshop

May 6–7, 2019

American Legion Hall
210 South Street
Norway, IA

(approximately 14 miles southwest of Cedar Rapids)

Monday, May 6 and Thursday, May 7
8:30 am–4:30 pm

Iowa DNR Course #25826
14 hours/1.4 CEUs

$200 per person includes CEUs and lunch both days.


May 8–9, 2019

City of De Soto Wastewater Facility
801 Elm Street
De Soto, IA

(approximately 20 miles west of Des Moines)

Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9
8:30 am–4:30 pm

Iowa DNR Course #25827
14 hours/1.4 CEUs

$200 per person includes CEUs and lunch both days.


About Your Instructor, Steve Harris

iowa-lagoon-trainingSteve Harris is widely regarded as an authority on wastewater lagoons. He is president of H&S Environmental (, which provides training and consulting services to help operators keep their lagoon systems in compliance. His book, Wastewater Lagoon Troubleshooting, An Operators Guide to Solving Problems and Optimizing Wastewater Lagoon Systems, compiles the best operational experience and problem solving techniques he’s learned over more than twenty years working with wastewater lagoons. Wastewater Lagoon Troubleshooting is available from USA Blue Book for $79 plus shipping.

Praise for Steve Harris

“I expected a long day with a lot of redundant info but boy was I wrong… I learned new ways to approach old persistent problems.”
—Pat Gifford, Northwestern Water & Sewer District, Bowling Green, OH

“This is without a doubt the best class on lagoons I have ever attended. I got some great ideas on sludge removal options and DO testing. Anyone with lagoons should attend this class.”
—Randy Severns, Village of Mendon, OH

“The class gave me a better understanding of the relationship between the different BODs and different sludge removal techniques.”
—Stan Sutter, St. Henry WWTP, St. Henry, OH

For more information, call 800.654.9307.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *