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Lagoon Design and Performance

4-hour Seminar presented September 22nd, 2008


at Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario

Presented by:
Dwight HOUWELING, Ph.D.
EnviroSim Associates, Flamborough, ON

Outline

1.

Lagoon Performance

2.

Biology

3.

Lagoon Design

4.

Operation and Sampling

Protecting Receiving Waters

Raw
Sewage

Biomass

Treated
Effluent

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Solids Separation
Trucked or piped in
wastewater enters
the lagoon

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Solids Separation
Wastewater components separate through
sedimentation. Settleable solids sink to
the bottom layer. Soluble and fine solids
remain in the top layer.
Solubles

Particulates

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Solids Separation
Settling removes only removes
a portion of the pollution
Solubles and
Fine
Particulates

Solubles

Particulates

Particulates

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Biological Activity

Bacteria
Consume
Solubles and
Fine
Particulates

Bacteria consume soluble


matter and fine particulates
and then settle to bottom,
which clears up water top layer
Bacteria Grow and Settle

Particulates

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Treatment Performance

Good settling depends on:

Good biological activity depends on:

quiescent conditions (still waters), not


too much wind;
Minimum depth of water above
sediment layer
Temperature, dissolved oxygen, other
factors

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Treatment Performance

The biggest variable in operating


lagoons in Canada is temperature
change between winter and summer

Cold temperatures and ice cover will


affect biology but not so much
settling

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Winter Performance
Settling is good in winter but
biological activity slows down
ice
Solubles and
Fine
Particulates

Little
Biological Activity
Settling

Particulates

10

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Summer Performance
Warm temperatures and
sunlight allow good treatment
in summer
Significant
Biological Activity
Settling

Bacteria
Consume
Solubles and
Fine
Particulates
Particulates

11

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Summer Performance
Growth of Algae is beneficial
but can sometimes be
excessive
Algae

Particulates

12

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Summer Performance
Waterways choked with algae while they are
alive they provide beneficial oxygen but when
they die they consume oxygen, which can lead
to anaerobic conditions (no oxygen)

13

LAGOON PERFORMANCE

Biological Activity
Biological

activity is critical to the treatment


performance of lagoon processes
Rate of activity is temperature dependant
Bacteria do most of the work
Type of biological activity depends on whether
oxygen is present (aerobic) or not (anaerobic)
Aerobic activity is the most energy efficient for
life and leads to better pond performance

14

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Lagoon is an ecosystem

Metcalf and Eddy, 1991


15

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Components of interest
Suspended

Solids (TSS)

TSS

includes human waste, pathogens,


nutrients, algae and other bacteria etc.

Biochemical
Organic

Nutrients

Oxygen Demand (BOD)

Matter that depletes oxygen

- Eutrophication

Toxicity
Pathogens
16

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Treatment in Lagoons
What is the fate of each of the following:
TSS, BOD, Ammonia, P, Pathogens?

17

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Bacteria
Bacteria consume
organic matter and
nutrients

Algae are
photosynthetic
bacteria that produce
oxygen

Bacteria work fastest with oxygen but can


work without which can lead to foul
odours
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LAGOON BIOLOGY

Grazers
Protozoa filter the
water and consume
bacteria

19

Rotifer

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Biological Activity: Big and Small


Bacteria
0.001 mm

Protozoa, Rotifers
0.1 mm

Daphnia
1 mm

Geese 1 m

20

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Biological activity : Oxygen


Bacteria

biodegrade organic aerobically


(with O2) or anaerobically (no O2)
Aerobic biodegradation is faster and
produces no smells
Anaerobic biodegradation is slower and
can produce foul smells
Bacteria can be strictly aerobic, strictly
anaerobic or facultative (active in both
conditions)
21

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Biological Activity : Temperature


Bacteria

are active at low temperatures


(<5oC) as well as high (40oC)
Significant rates of biodegradation of
wastewater occurs at temperatures >5 oC
Growth slows with decreasing
temperature
Net loss of bacteria when growth rate is
lower than rate of (decay + predation +
washout)
22

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Biological Activity : Other Factors


pH

Measure of Acidity/Alkalinity
Toxicity Cyanide, Heavy metals
(Copper, Chromium etc.) can inhibit
growth of bacteria
Contact between bacteria, pollutants and
O2 if all the bacteria are in the bottom
sediments and the O2 and pollutants are
in the overlying water column then no
biodegradation
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LAGOON BIOLOGY

Treatment Steps : Dilution

24

Sewage will be diluted in lagoon


and undergo sedimentation

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Treatment Steps : Settling

Fate sewage components will depend


on settleability

Interested in knowing what fractions of


influent waste are soluble and particulate
(solid) components
Solubles + Some Solids
Solids

25

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Treatment Steps : Biodegradability

Fate will depend on biodegradability

Most human waste will biodegrade


eventually, but is it readily, slowly,
very-slowly or impossibly slowly
biodegradable?
AEROBIC REACTIONS
ANAEROBIC REACTIONS

26

Examples:
Proteins
Carbohydrat
es
Toilet Paper
Wood
Plastic
LAGOON BIOLOGY

Treatment Steps : Gas Transfer

Ammonia can be removed by


volatilization but it depends on pH

Useful to know what pH is

NH+4

27

NH3 + H+

LAGOON BIOLOGY

Influent Fractions
Total Influent
COD

Biodegradable
COD

Soluble Readily
Biodegradable

Particulate Slowly
Biodegradable

Unbiodegradable
COD

Soluble
Unbiodegradable

Particulate
Unbiodegradable

COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) is a measure of


all the organic matter in a sample
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LAGOON SAMPLING

Suspended Solids (TSS)


Suspended

solids cause turbidity


Removing suspended solids means
removal of BOD, pathogens, metals, and
other components
Turbidity

water

used as criteria for safe drinking

Suspended

solids can clog receiving


waters, block light penetration, muddy
stream bottoms

29

LAGOON SAMPLING

Suspended Solids (TSS)


Suspended

solids block
light penetration
Changing the
environment of
receiving
waters

30

LAGOON SAMPLING

Biochemical Oxygen Demand


(BOD5)
BOD

is a measurement of the amount of


biodegradable organic matter
Typically a 5-day test (BOD5)
Units are mg O2/L because we are interested
in knowing the amount of oxygen depleted
after biodegradation of the organic matter
BOD discharge can be associated with a
depletion in dissolved oxygen (DO)
concentrations in receiving waters
Without DO, fish die + bad smells
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LAGOON SAMPLING

Biochemical Oxygen Demand


(BOD5)
Case study shows DO sag due to BOD discharge

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http://www.oxscisoft.com/hermes/casestudies.htm

Nutrients: N and P
Nitrogen

(N) and especially phosphorus


(P) are limiting elements for growth of
algae in most Canadian lakes and rivers
Human waste contain N and P
Detergents contain P
Lead to eutrophication of receiving
waters

33

LAGOON SAMPLING

Chinese Lake choked with Algae

Nutrients: N and P

34

Toxicity: Ammonia
Sewage

can contain toxic components


In domestic wastewater the principle
source of toxicity is ammonia
Industrial effluents and landfill leachates
can contain toxic elements including
metals
A government study found that ammonia
was the principle source of toxicity in the
Saint-Lawrence river (SLV 2000)
35

LAGOON SAMPLING

Toxicity: Ammonia
Toxicity

of ammonia to fish is dependant

on pH
Ammonia can interfere with disinfection
of drinking water

36

LAGOON SAMPLING

Fish Kills

Toxicity: Ammonia

37

(Total Ammonia Nitrogen)

Acute toxicity of Ammonia

Environment Canada, 2004


38

LAGOON SAMPLING

Seasonal Factors
Temperature
Biology
Turnover
Ice

Cover

Sunlight
Photosynthesis

affects pH and DO
pH has an important effect on effluent
toxicity!!!
39

LAGOON SAMPLING

Seasonal Factors
16

Efuent ammonia (mg N/L)

14

Snowmelt
Dilution

Biological
Activity
(nitrification)

12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Jan

Apr

Jul

Oct

Jan

Averages of 3-years of measurements effluent of 1 st lagoon at Drummondville (2000-2003)

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LAGOON SAMPLING

COD test

Chemical
Oxygen
Demand

41

LAGOON SAMPLING

BOD5 test

Biochemical
Oxygen
Demand

42

LAGOON SAMPLING

TSS test

Total
Suspended
Solids

43

LAGOON SAMPLING

NH3 test
Colorimetric analysis

44

LAGOON SAMPLING

PO4 test
Colorimetric analysis

45

LAGOON SAMPLING

E. coli

CFU/100 mL
Important to know because of
effect on human health but not a
large contributor to oxygen
demand

46

LAGOON SAMPLING

Case Study: Role of Algae


Weekly
Sewage
Load

Particulates

47

LAGOON SAMPLING

Case Study: Role of Algae

48

Sewage is added to lagoon and bacteria use the oxygen to degrade organic matter
(COD)
Oxygen is replenished by algae at the surface of the lagoon using energy from the sun
Oxygen is initially depleted because bacteria use oxygen faster than algae can produce
it

LAGOON SAMPLING

Case Study: Role of Algae

49

Oxygen is depleted faster at night when algae cannot produced oxygen


If lagoon is loaded heavily so that bacteria use oxygen faster than algae
can replenish it, oxygen will drop to zero and anaerobic conditions will
exist, leading to odours

LAGOON SAMPLING

Case Study: Role of Algae

Algae tend to increase the pH in the lagoon


which favours volatile form of ammonia

NH4+ NH3 + H+
Ammonia exists in equilibrium between non-volatile (NH 4+)
and volatile (NH3) forms. At neutral pH, the non-volatile form
is dominant

50

LAGOON SAMPLING

Types of Lagoons
Facultative
Oxygen

input from algae and wind is


significant
Odours generated in bottom layer are
eliminated in overlying aerobic layer
O2

O2

O2

O2

O2

ANAEROBIC

51

LAGOON DESIGN

Types of Lagoons
Anaerobic
Oxygen

input is relatively insignificant


(organic load is too high)
Odours

ANAEROBIC

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LAGOON DESIGN

Facultative Lagoon Process


Operation
Aerobic

and Anaerobic Zones allow for


varied biology
Water Column is aerobic
Sediments are anaerobic
Exchanges between Sediments and
Water Column can be significant
Release of soluble organic matter and
nutrients from sediments (Benthic Load)
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LAGOON DESIGN

Facultative Lagoon Design Criteria


Low

Organic Load
Hydraulic Detention Time : several days
Depth (shallow to maximize A:V)
L:W ratio (Plug flow vs. Complete Mix)
Freeboard
Inlet and outlet size, placement, depth
(distribution boxes to avoid a jet)
Clay or geomembrane lining to limit seepage

54

LAGOON DESIGN

Anaerobic Lagoon Process


Operation
Deep

to minimize the effect of oxygen


transfer across the lagoon surface
Both Water Column and Sediments are
anaerobic
Significant gas production leads to odour
problems
Should be upstream of an aerobic
process
55

LAGOON DESIGN

Anaerobic Lagoon Design Criteria


High

Organic Load
Hydraulic Detention Time
Depth (deep)
L:W ratio
Freeboard
Inlet and outlet size, placement, depth
(distribution boxes to avoid a jet)
Clay or geomembrane lining to limit seepage

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LAGOON DESIGN

Methane Gas capture


California Manure Lagoon

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Aerated process operation


Supply

of DO allows for biological


activity in winter
Influent has heat input which may keep
lagoon from freezing over
If rate of feed is low relative to volume,
freeze over is likely

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LAGOON DESIGN

Aerated Design Criteria


Similar

to facultative lagoon except:

Greater

Depth is allowed because natural


surface aeration is not important to
treatment

Energy

for aeration can increase


operation costs significantly

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LAGOON DESIGN

Drummondville, QC WWTP
60 000 m3/d
V/Q = 11 days per lagoon
Aeration intensity = 0.5 1.2 W/m3

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LAssomption, QC Qdesign = 7700 m3/d

61

Seasonal Discharge
If

lagoon freezes over and no aeration,


minimal biological activity and poor
treatment
Seasonal discharge is a good option in
these cases to avoid discharging poor
quality water in winter

62

LAGOON DESIGN

Seasonal Discharge Design


Criteria
Hydraulic

Detention Time : several months


Depth : deep lagoons are good for storage in
water but shallow lagoons favour aerobic
activity in summer
Freeboard
Inlet and outlet size, placement, depth are
important for controlling discharge
Clay or geomembrane lining to limit seepage

63

LAGOON DESIGN

Seasonal Factors
Temperature
Biology
Turnover
Ice

Cover

Sunlight
Photosynthesis

affects pH and DO
pH affects volatility and toxicity of ammonia

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LAGOON DESIGN

Alberta Design Criteria


Unaerated

sewage lagoons in Alberta have no


effluent requirements
Design must include 2 or 4 anaerobic cells
with 2-day retention time in each cell
1 facultative cell with a 2 month retention time
1 storage cell with a 12 month retention time
Lagoons are to be drained between late spring
and fall and discharge period should not
exceed 3 weeks. i.e. Discharged once per
year
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LAGOON DESIGN

Alberta Design Criteria


Anaerobic

cells are 3 m deep and designed for


desludging.
Facultative cell are a maximum depth of 1.5 m
Storage cell are a maximum depth of 3 m and
is intended to act as a facultative cell.
Slope of cell walls is 3:1
Wastewater lagoons in Alberta must be lined
to control seepage

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LAGOON DESIGN

Desludging

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Sludge Accumulation Slows down


accumulate in the lagoon sediments
Rate of accumulation gradually slows due to
digestion

Volatile Solids (Metric Tons)

Solids

Sludge Accumulation in Lagoon

2,000
1,800
1,600
1,400
1,200
1,000
800
600
400
200
0
Jan-98

Jan-99

Jan-00
Volatile Solids (tons)

Jan-01

Jan-02

VS (tons)

Drummondville, QC WWTP
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LAGOON DESIGN

Typical Wastewater Lagoon Design


in Alberta

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LAGOON DESIGN

Quebec Design Criteria

Facultative lagoons are designed based on loading rates of 22 to


12 kg BOD5/ha/d in northern regions.

In general, design is for only seasonal discharge: in spring and


fall.
Discharge should not be less than 3 weeks after the ice-melt.
Systems generally comprise 2 cells in series or in parallel.
Discharge should allow at least 0.3 m of liquid in the lagoon
below which solids entrainment in the effluent can be significant.
For systems with continuous discharge in summer, at least 3 cells
are recommended which respect the loading rates recommended
above.

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LAGOON DESIGN

Quebec Design Criteria

71

As is the case for Alberta, operational requirements are specified


rather than effluent requirements.
MENV guide suggests design gives effluent BOD5 of 20-40 mg/L
and TSS of 20-100 mg/L (depending on presence of algae)
Data from installations in Quebec in 1990 had an average of 400
to 20 000 CFU/100 mL
Sampling at least once per month of continuous discharge,
discharge must be made during allowed periods and beginning
and end of discharge must be noted.

LAGOON DESIGN

Quebec Design Criteria

72

Discharge must be conducted in such a way as to limit solids


entrainment and to limit erosion from the lagoon

Sludge must be removed before it reaches the bottom of the


effluent weir

Geotechnical stability of the lagoon berm should be inspected


visually (fissures, sloughing)

Need for lining to control seepage depends on conditions of site


and potential impacts to drinking water supplies

LAGOON DESIGN

Lagoon Design
Poor

design can lead to problems:

Poor

effluent quality
Foul Odours
Excessive sludge accumulation
Uncontrolled discharge
Uncontrolled seepage

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LAGOON DESIGN

Exfiltration Lagoons

Seepage through berm adds a third


treatment mechanism:
1.
2.
3.

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Settling
Biodegradation
Filtering

Rate of seepage from lagoon will


impact treatment performance
significantly
LAGOON DESIGN

Exfiltration Lagoons
Most of the communities have a dumping lagoon that
exfiltrates through the sand and gravel of a berm down
a wetland slope anywhere from a few hundred metres
to several kilometres long. The wetlands are lush and
green with vegetation that thrives on the wastewater
while helping to treat it. What were finding is that in
smaller communities, such as Chesterfield Inlet or
Whale Cove, it works very well. The water that
reaches the ocean is of very high quality.
-Brent Wootton, senior scientist with the Centre for
Alternative Wastewater Treatment at Fleming College
Daily Commercial News and Construction Record, May 9, 2008, Reed Construction Data, Markham, ON

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LAGOON DESIGN

Sewage Lagoon at Whale Cove, NU


Downstream wetland provides further
treatment beyond the lagoon

wetland

76

LAGOON DESIGN

Sewage Lagoon at Whale Cove, NU


Lagoon effluent follows topography to ocean

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LAGOON DESIGN

Exfiltration Lagoon Performance


Why wetlands do or do not work is a
current topic of study. Important factors
include:
Loading (kg BOD5/m2)
Temperature
Rate of Seepage over Year
Exfiltration or uncontrolled runoff
Retention time in downstream wetlands
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LAGOON DESIGN

Exfiltration

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LAGOON DESIGN

Operation and Sampling

What do we sample for?

What do the tests tell us?

Sampling plan to characterize

80

Lagoon Behaviour
Impact on receiving waters.

LAGOON SAMPLING

Mass Balances
Propose a sampling campaign to
characterize the removal of COD, N, and
P for the following lagoon system.

*Flow In = Flow Out + Accumulation


81

Sludge Production
After 5 years, the seasonal discharge lagoon at Exampleville is
60% full of sludge. The seasonal discharge lagoon at
Pleasanthamlet 100 km away is only 25% full after 10 years.
How can this be?
What information would you need to investigate your
assumptions?
Plan a sampling campaign to investigate your claims

High TSS

Low TSS

After 10 years

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After only 5 years

Ammonia discharge
Local residents notice a fish kill in the river two years in a row in
early June. The munipalitys lagoon discharges continuously into
a wetland 500 meters from the river.
Could effluent from the lagoon be responsible for the fish kill?
Can you offer an explanation for the fish kill?
What information would you need to investigate your
assumptions?
Plan a sampling campaign to investigate your claims

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Exfiltration into surrounding Wetlands

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