In a previous blog post and its accompanying YouTube video, we presented 6 Key Factors that contribute to lagoon ammonia removal. In this followup, Brady and Patrick evaluate four popular options for lagoon ammonia removal and highlight the pros and cons of each.
Following is a quick recap of the four lagoon ammonia solutions described in the video:
In-Lagoon Media—One of the contributing factors for lagoon ammonia removal is biomass, or the volume of nitrifying bacteria. Nitrifying bacteria, or autotrophs, are attached growth organisms, so the more surface area available for them to grow on, the more autotrophs you get. In-Lagoon Media is simply a structure that gives autotrophs a place to grow and increase their biomass.
Pros: Lower capital cost, no extra land requirement, easy to operate
Cons: Ineffective at low temperatures, risk of short-circuiting
Lagoon Covers & Polishing Reactor—Wastewater lagoon covers are designed to insulate the surface of lagoons, retaining heat to keep the water warm enough to achieve nitrification in the winter and year round. Aeration is necessary to keep DO levels and mixing high enough to treat BOD and allow for nitrification. A polishing reactor at the end uses UV-resistant PVC media and a complete-mix environment to promote the growth of denitrifying bacteria. This allows the system to control both BOD and ammonia, despite cold weather.
Pros: Reliable nitrification, very effective in low temperatures, minimal extra land requirement
Cons: High capital cost, high operational and maintenance costs
Aerated Rock Filter—A submerged aerated rock filter is typically added as an effluent polishing measure. Effluent flows through gravel media that collects a nitrifier mass over time, making lagoon ammonia treatment more efficient. Supplemental aeration assures that the necessary oxygen levels are met for nitrification. The system is generally placed in the ground and covered in a layer of insulating mulch.
Pros: Reliable nitrification, very effective in low temperatures, simple to operate
Cons: High capital cost, extra land requirement, unknown long-term cleaning requirements
Lagoon Ammonia Solutions: NitrOx Does It Better
In developing our NitrOx Lagoon Ammonia Removal Process, we evaluated the pros and cons of the existing lagoon ammonia solutions and found a way to Do It Better.
NitrOx was designed to optimize the 6 Key Factors for Nitrification, by providing sufficient dissolved oxygen to remove BOD and fuel nitrifying bacteria, and turbulent mixing to keep the oxygen, waste, and attached-growth media in constant contact. Thermal regulation automatically adjusts the temperature of influent only when needed to ensure lagoon ammonia removal even during the coldest winter while controlling energy costs.
Because the NitrOx® Reactor was designed to be incorporated into an existing system, capital expense is kept low—at 2/3 the cost of other nitrification options—to minimize the financial burden of plant upgrades. The NitrOx system, through controlled thermal regulation, biomass, mixing, and aeration, optimizes conditions for nitrification, even in cold weather.
Download the NitrOx Technical Information for more information on cost-effective Lagoon Ammonia Removal.
Lagoons Do It Better: Join Us!
We believe in lagoons: It’s all we do. We believe that this effective, sustainable method of wastewater treatment should be preserved. That’s why we’ve been developing resources to help wastewater operators and engineers rehabilitate existing lagoon systems to meet modern effluent requirements as cost effectively as possible.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel—we’re continuing to add videos on topics of interest to lagoon operators.
Join our Lagoons Do It Better Facebook group, which we’re developing as a place where operators can meet to ask questions and access resources.
Become part of the Lagoons Do It Better community! Register on our website so we can keep you up-to-date with new resources and events and send you your own Lagoons Do It Better camo hat!