Aerated Lagoons

Aerated lagoons are used where sufficient land is not available for seasonal retention or land application and economics do not justify an activated sludge system. Efficient biological treatment can be achieved by the use of the aerated lagoon system. It was reported to have removal efficiency of 90-95% of BOD5 in seafood-processing wastewater treatment [2]. The major difference with respect to activated sludge systems is that the aerated lagoons are basins, normally excavated in earth and operated without solids recycling into the system. The ponds are between 2.4 and 4.6 m deep, with 2 to 10 days retention and achieve 55-90% reduction in BOD5. Two types of aerated lagoons are commonly used in seafood-processing wastewater treatment: completely mixed lagoons and facultative lagoons. In the completely mixed lagoon, the concentrations of solids and dissolved oxygen are uniformly maintained and neither the incoming solids nor the biomass of microorganisms settle, whereas in the facultative lagoons, the power input is reduced, causing accumulation of solids in the bottom that undergo anaerobic decomposition, while the upper portions are maintained in an aerobic state (Fig. 10).

The major operational difference between these lagoons is the power input, which is in the order of 2.5-6 W/m3 for aerobic lagoons while the requirement for facultative lagoons is of the order 0.8-1 W/m3. Reduction in biological activity can occur when the lagoons are exposed to low temperatures and eventually ice formation. This problem can be partially alleviated by increasing the depth of the basin.

If excavated basins are used for settling, care should be taken to provide a residence time long enough for the solids to settle, and provision should also be made for the accumulation of sludge. There is a very high possibility of offensive odor development due to the decomposition of the settled sludge, and algae might develop in the upper layers causing an increased content of suspended solids in the effluent. Odors can be minimized by using minimum depths of up to 2 m, whereas algae production can be reduced with a hydraulic retention time of fewer than 2 days.

Solids will also accumulate all along the aeration basins in the facultative lagoons and even at corners, or between aeration units in the completely mixed lagoon. These accumulated

Facultative Lagoon
Figure 10 Diagram of facultative aerated lagoon.

solids will, on the whole, decompose at the bottom, but since there is always a nonbiodegradable fraction, a permanent deposit will build up. Therefore, periodic removal of these accumulated solids is necessary.

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