Revitalizing a hog waste lagoon

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Courtesy of Reliant Water Technologies

A North Carolina hog grower with a brood barn of 200 full grown sows contacted Reliant Water Technologies to see if we could assist him with one of his waste lagoons. All of his lagoons were identical, measuring only .05 acres in size, and designed to be 8 feet deep. When we arrived at the farm all of the lagoons looked like the one in Figure 1.

The lagoon that he chose for us to work with was located closest to the barn, and his goal was to use the water on the surface of the lagoon as wash-down water for the barn. Because the sludge was breaking the surface of the lagoon there was a very unpleasant odor emanating from the lagoon. Due to problems with the plumbing to the other lagoon, all hog waste would be directed to the trial lagoon during the trial period.

Reliant Water Technologies specializes in rehabilitating waste and fish farming lagoons with the use of two patented products. One is a very unique water moving aerator and the other is a poly-microbial, specialized bacterial mix that was initially developed for use in eliminating organic solids in packaged wastewater plants used on offshore production platforms and ships. Reliant uses the two products globally for the revitalization of aged waste lagoons of all types. Together, the two products can bring old lagoons back into compliance, sometimes following years of non-compliant operations.

The plan was to locate the Reliant Model WQA aerator on one end of the lagoon and allow for the forward flow of water from a coarse bubble airlift to ‘push’ the water forward. This constant forward pressure utilizes the weight of the water to continuously move the upper level solids throughout the lagoon. Eventually, within a week the solids will be moving as a fluid bed of sludge well below the lagoon surface. With this sludge movement, the trapped ammonia and nitrogen gases are released from the sludge and oxidized in the water column, thus, almost completely eliminating odor from the lagoon. At the same time, the natural facultative bacteria in the sludge, will be in a more friendly gas free environment, and can once again begin to be the digestion agent for the organic sludge.

Because of the large amount of sludge in the subject lagoon, Reliant used its patented sludge digestant, Sewper Rx, to assist in breaking down the sludge. This bacterial mix is commonly used in activated sludge wastewater plants for the reduction of sludge to be hauled, thereby saving the plant over 60% of its sludge hauling costs and tipping fees. Sewper Rx was used on this project in order to assist in obtaining a quick result in eliminating enough sludge to provide a sludge free water column from which to draw the barn’s wash-down water.

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