Pandemic Flu: What It Means for Wastewater Lagoons

The CDC is calling this year’s flu season the worst since 2009, with the double-whammy of an especially deadly strain and a poor match by this year’s flu vaccine. Although the current influenza outbreak is a fraction as severe as the Spanish Flu outbreak of one hundred years ago, and modern antivirals and antibiotics should prevent such a significant loss of life from occurring again, widespread illness can still have a devastating impact on a wastewater facility.

What could a flu pandemic mean for a wastewater lagoon? In this article, we’ll discuss pathogen removal in general and highlight some of the other challenges widespread illness may create for the wastewater lagoon operator. Continue reading

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Aerated Lagoon Optimization to Reduce Energy Consumption

aerated lagoon optimizationEnergy costs for aeration represent the largest expense for a wastewater lagoon facility, so any increase in efficiency directly improves the bottom line. Since aeration systems are designed to be efficient at the lagoon’s full design capacity, they can be inefficient and wasteful at actual flow and BOD levels. In this article, we’ll outline why a lagoon facility can end up significantly overbuilt, and present methods of aerated lagoon optimization to save energy costs. Continue reading

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Lagoon Surface Aerator: “A self-destructing piece of equipment”

lagoon surface aeratorThe winter of 2017–18 is already one for the books, with record cold temperatures in the Midwest and eastern U.S., and snow as far south as Florida. So far, most of the western U.S. has enjoyed relatively mild conditions, but there’s still a couple of months of winter left to go.

In a previous blog, Is Your Wastewater Lagoon Ready for Winter? Prepping for Cold Temperatures, we described the effect of cold temperatures on biological processes. In this article, we’ll discuss the downside of lagoon surface aerators, which are particularly vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Continue reading

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Top 10 Wastewater Lagoon Videos of 2017 from our YouTube Channels

wastewater lagoon videosOur previous blog highlights our most-read wastewater lagoon articles of 2017. Here you’ll find the Top 10 most-watched videos from our YouTube channels. Our TriplepointWater channel features case studies and product information. On our Lagoons Do It Better channel you’ll find educational videos and webinars on topics of interest to lagoon operators and interviews with industry experts. Subscribe to both and you’ll be first to know when we post something new! Continue reading

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Top 10 Wastewater Lagoon Articles of 2017 from Triplepoint’s Blog

wastewater lagoon articlesWe’re gratified by the great response we’ve gotten to our lagoon blog. Our mission is to be a clearinghouse for lagoon topics and research, and to provide insight into how Lagoons can Do It Better. (If there are any topics you’d like us to tackle in 2018, post in the comments!)

As Steve Harris says in our video interview, just one small idea can revolutionize your lagoon system—improve treatment and help you to meet your permit limits. We hope you’ll look to our blog as a source for revolutionary ideas.

As we wrap up 2017, here’s a look back at the year’s most popular blog posts: Continue reading

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The Hidden Costs of Replacing a Lagoon with a Mechanical Plant

When confronted with new effluent limits, many municipalities feel their only option is to scrap their otherwise adequate lagoon system and replace it with a mechanical treatment process, like an activated sludge, SBR, or MBBR plant. There’s a better option: A lagoon can be upgraded to remove ammonia and phosphorus, treat BOD and solids, and produce an effluent quality as good as a mechanical plant—at a fraction of the cost. Continue reading

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Lagoon Nitrogen and Lagoon Ammonia…What’s the Difference?

Whether your facility has a lagoon nitrogen (TN, TKN, or TIN) or ammonia (NH3) effluent limit depends on your local environmental regulatory body, your discharge parameters, and if the watershed you discharge to is impaired. So far, most lagoon permits with an ammonia or nitrogen limit restrict only unionized ammonia (NH3), although some (and going forward, potentially more) restrict Total Nitrogen (TN), largely due to the danger of nitrates in groundwater.

This article will present a simplified overview of the difference between lagoon ammonia and lagoon nitrogen and the biological processes of nitrification and denitrification. Continue reading

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Is Your Wastewater Lagoon Ready for Winter? Prepping for Cold Temperatures

wastewater lagoon winterThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its annual winter forecast and predicts the likelihood of another year of La Niña conditions. The northernmost portion of the U.S. is expected to have a winter that’s colder and wetter than average, while the south is likely to be warmer and drier. The nation’s mid-section is predicted to experience average winter temperatures and precipitation. With the winter season upon us, it’s a good time to examine what happens to a wastewater lagoon when temperatures drop and highlight ways to optimize winter lagoon operations. Continue reading

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Lagoon Diffuser Mixing Performance: CFD Study of the MARS

lagoon diffuserWe know good data leads to good decisions, so we’re always looking for ways to improve our data. Recently, we commissioned a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) study of our MARS lagoon diffuser to refine our data about its performance.

A previous article, CFD Modeling Lagoon Aeration: A Peek Inside the Black Box, talked about how these sophisticated flow simulations can be an important tool in cracking the black box that is wastewater lagoon treatment. In this followup, we’ll take a close look at the results of the CFD study of our MARS lagoon diffuser—complete with cool animations—and highlight what it reveals about its performance. Continue reading

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CFD Modeling Lagoon Aeration: A Peek Inside the Black Box

CFD modeling lagoon aerationLagoon treatment has been referred to as a “black box” because the specific mechanisms of treatment are hidden below the surface. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling provides a peek inside this black box, demonstrating how various elements of a facility (such as depth, baffles, influent and effluent structures, aeration and mixing) work together to either help or hinder wastewater treatment.

In this article, we’ll discuss CFD as a tool to optimize lagoon systems, why we commissioned CFD studies of our MARS Aerator, and what the results say about the MARS’ mixing capability.
Continue reading

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