Biotifx™ Market Case Study: Lagoons

  • MDG
  • October 3, 2016

INTRODUCTION

Lagoons are a very common wastewater treatment design worldwide. Wastewater treatment facilities utilizing lagoons entirely or as part of a larger system can be found in municipalities, industry and agriculture.  Lagoons are an older method for wastewater treatment with the majority of lagoon systems currently in operation being installed 50-20 years ago. Typically, lagoons are thought of as requiring low maintenance and cost to operate. However, ageing systems and changes in environmental regulations are resulting in the need for significant investment. Use of bioaugmentation products address a variety of challenges that lagoon operations face at a significantly lower cost than existing alternatives.

COMMON PROBLEMS

Lagoon systems efficiency at treating wastewater is highly dependent on the flow, loading, temperature and type of influent for which it is designed.  With time, changes in industrial and municipal wastewater sources can cause problems making it difficult for operators to meet discharge permit limits.

Examples:

  • Accelerates sludge build up
  • Foaming
  • Sludge float
  • Turbid effluent
  • High nutrient levels in effluent
  • Odors
  • Energy costs

As a function of lagoon design; solids accumulate in the systems that eventually need to be removed.  In well operated and designed lagoons, removal will need to happen every 20-30 years. Thus, many lagoons currently in operation are coming of age where solids removal is need. Poor operation, design and overloading are common and sometimes require removal of solids every 2-3 years.

Another significant driver for investment in lagoon wastewater treatment systems are changes to environmental regulations with stricter discharge standards than original system designs were meant to achieve. Improvements need to be made to these systems if they are going to stay in operation.

COMMON PRACTICES

Providing a solution that can both improve treatment efficiency and remove solids without the need for capitol upgrades would be well received by an existing market starved for less expensive alternatives.  Current practice for removing accumulated sludge in lagoons is the physical/mechanical removal of the solids through a dredging process. This process requires heavy equipment, space, personnel, energy and chemistry. Lagoons may contain thousands of tons of solids that will need to be removed per dredging event.

  • Unit Price in the US Is $250-$500 per dry ton removed
  • Total cost of $100K to $10M per dredge event

Improving lagoons to meet changing conditions and requirements with capital expansion is very expensive (tens of millions of dollars). Reasons expansions are so expensive may include:

  • Existing infrastructure at lagoon sites is typically limited/poor
  • Limited buildable space, utility access, shelter
  • Changes to “grandfathered in” systems may result in government requiring additional upgrades
  • Capitol upgrades will require ongoing maintenance and personnel costs

BIOAUGMENTATION SOLUTION

Biotifx™ products offer a viable alternative to capital expansion and can greatly reduce the need for dredging.  The products consists of a blend of Bacillus bacteria, along with an combination other synergistic compounds, which is added directly to the lagoon.  . Through the process of bioaugmentation the products  will improve water treatment efficiency while digesting accumulated sludge. Products are applied on a continuous basis for as long as results are desired.  Application of products requires little handling, limited storage space, and no capital investment resulting in a large ROI.

CONCLUSION

Lagoons are very common systems worldwide in municipal, industrial and agricultural wastewater treatment markets. Bioaugmentation offers a strong alternative to dredging methods due to its ability to improve efficiency and reduce costs.