by Heather Jennings, PE

. . . the lagoon sludge layer, that is. I’ve seen many lagoons full of sludge, and the general attitude I find in the water industry is that the sludge layer is inert and really can only be mechanically dredged. To a certain point, that is correct: sand, soil, grit, plastics—basically inorganics—do need to be mechanically dredged. The organics, on the other hand, don’t, and they are easily removed with bioremediation.

I recently completed a year-long study on a municipal lagoon that accepted some waste from food processors. We sludge judged the lagoon as well as looked at the bioactivity throughout the water column by quarterly measurement of the ATP for a year. The highest level of bioactivity was in the sludge layer!

Over the year, we saw that toxic/septic impacts also inhibited the bioactivity of this layer, although delayed compared with the rest of the water column. What was exciting was seeing how the bioactivity increased as the sludge was stimulated with our Bio Energizer® product. Toward the end of the year of Bio Energizer® application, the bioactivity dropped but it correlated with the reduction of the organics in the sludge layer. Which makes sense: less biomass, less bioactivity.

Overall, it was very exciting to see how bioactive the sludge layer was and that, when it is stimulated, it can bioremediate the organics itself with just a little biostimulant push.

Complete the form below to download/read the complete white paper,
“Lagoons: Under the Surface.
(32 pages, 34 figures, 37 tables)

About the Author

Larry Cooper

Director, Sustainability & Knowledge Management, Huma, Inc. Lifelong learner, master gardener, rescuer of greyhounds, grandpa. Once served detention for placing ecology flag on top of his high school.

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