Wastewater Lagoon Odor Control for Spring Turnover

wastewater lagoon odor controlSpring is the time of the year when unmixed lagoons turn over, so it’s also the time of the year when operators (and local residents) are concerned about wastewater lagoon odor control. Although spring lagoon turnover and its accompanying odors may be normal and expected, that doesn’t mean they are tolerated. In this short article, we’ll explain what causes lagoons to turn over and what can be done to mitigate odor issues. Continue reading

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Lagoon Hydraulics: Diagnosing and Preventing Short-Circuiting

“Short-circuiting is the greatest deterrent to consistent pond performance. The importance of the hydraulic design of a pond system cannot be overemphasized.” That’s a quote from the EPA’s lagoon manual, Principles of Design and Operations of Wastewater Treatment Pond Systems for Plant Operators, Engineers, and Managers.

Short-circuiting occurs when wastewater flows through the lagoon unevenly, allowing some of the influent to take a short cut through the cell and bypass the treatment process. Since adequate retention time is critical to lagoon treatment, anything that shortens retention time can result in high BOD and TSS in effluent. In this article, we’ll describe the ways lagoon hydraulics can contribute to short-circuiting, how to diagnose it, and how it can be prevented. Continue reading

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Lagoon Optimization Training with Steve Harris Helps Lagoons Do It Better

lagoon optimization trainingWe’re always a little disheartened when we hear of a facility decommissioning their lagoon in favor of a mechanical treatment plant. While mechanical plants provide excellent effluent quality, for the most part they can be overkill for a small town. With proper lagoon optimization training, a lagoon system can be improved and rehabbed to stay in permit at a fraction of the cost of replacing it.

Even if a new mechanical wastewater facility is funded with block grants or low-interest loans, the additional energy, maintenance, and operations costs make it more expensive than a lagoon. We outline some of these unexpected expenses in our blog, The Hidden Costs of Replacing a Lagoon with a Mechanical Plant.

We’re all about helping Lagoons Do It Better. To that end, we set up periodic lagoon training events in different locations with crack lagoon expert Steve Harris. He has over twenty years’ experience as a lagoon consultant and instructor and literally wrote the book on lagoon troubleshooting and optimization. (If you don’t have a copy of Wastewater Lagoon Troubleshooting: An Operators Guide, we highly recommend you get one. It’s detailed and written in plain language, and it’s our go-to resource for diagnosing, understanding, and solving lagoon issues.) Continue reading

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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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