<< Return to News

Lagoons 101: Identification and Long-Term Treatment Approach

Lagoons and ponds have been used for treating wastewater for over 3,000 years. Today there are over 8,000 wastewater treatment lagoons in operation within the United States. One appeal to using lagoons is that they generally require less energy than other treatment systems and have lower operation and maintenance costs. That being said, proper performance still requires some form of ongoing maintenance and upkeep. At Microbial Discovery Group (MDG), we have explored and documented the process of both treating and maintaining lagoons. With this knowledge, we have designed Biotifx® products and programs to make it easy for our sales reps to help treat and educate operators on how to maintain and increase efficiencies long-term.


To start from the beginning, a lagoon is a large, manmade body of water that is designed to receive, hold, and treat wastewater before it’s considered safe and returned to the environment. In a way, lagoons are like holding tanks where sewage enters at one end and then beneficial bacteria and other organisms work to break down various organic components over time. These bodies of water are constructed and lined with material, such as clay or an artificial liner, that will prevent any leakage into the groundwater. While a lagoon can exist alone, they’re also commonly installed as part of a system in a series. This form of wastewater treatment comes in three main variations: anaerobic (without oxygen), aerobic (including oxygen), or facultative, which is a combination of the two oxygenic conditions.

The main objectives of lagoons are to:

  • Clean the water by removing nutrients and biological oxygen demand (BOD).
  • Further digest the sludge by allowing biology to work over an extended period of time.
  • Protect wastewater treatment facilities from a storm surge. After a large storm, excess water can be collected in lagoons.

THE PROBLEM: Lagoon Challenges

Lagoons are great because they don’t require much daily maintenance and often treat rather naturally. However, there are some long-term issues that can’t be avoided, so a maintenance plan needs to be put in place. Here are some common challenges we encourage our reps to look out for when meeting with operators.

Sludge: While sludge is naturally digested in lagoons, this digestion is usually slow and results in accumulation. This causes an issue because there is only a finite amount of space, often resulting in the need for dredging and removal that comes at a high cost. These build-ups can also cause hydraulic short-circuiting, or “dead spots”, and create even more limited system capacity.

Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) Accumulation: When built-up FOG is not treated properly, they solidify on the surface and require mechanical removal. This, similarly to the sludge accumulation, requires a high cost for disposal services. High FOG accumulation can block equipment and make aeration impossible.

Odor: As microbes digest organic material, they release volatile fatty acid (VFA) compounds. VFAs smell like vinegar and body odor and are produced in anaerobic conditions. The presence of these VFAs often leads to community complaints. In fact, facilities can be charged with costly fines or lawsuits and may even experience a loss in tourism because of the foul odors.

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S): Like VFA odors, H2S will get the community calling to complain due to its rotten egg smell. More importantly, H2S is very toxic to people and corrosive for equipment and infrastructure. These negative side effects have the potential of causing lawsuits which could result in hefty fines.

THE SOLUTION: Biotifx® Product + Platform

Our team understands lagoon issues and is eager to educate our partners to measure, implement, and track success. Our program begins with a classroom style training that extends out into in-field training and support. Our program approach makes it easy for our partners and their customers to succeed with a product and process that’s proven. With our Biotifx® products, the most common long-term lagoon pains can be resolved. The full line of Biotifx® products are formulated with unique blends of Bacillus, enhanced with a proprietary blend of micronutrients and biostimulants to maximize performance.

Our team has numerous case studies demonstrating the effectiveness of our Biotifx® program and products. We’re in the process of writing even more because we love proving success through measured results. Our solution ensures our partners have what’s needed to help their customers improve lagoon function and save money over the long term. At MDG our tagline is Real Science, Trusted Process and Proven Success. MDG refines and delivers products and ideas by applying Real Science to a Trusted Process, yielding Proven Success.

Want to learn more about the earning potential and ROI that comes with treating lagoons with bioaugmentation? Visit our MARKET PAGE or CONTACT US to discuss your unique goals.

Search Insights
Recently Posted Insights

The Importance of Maintaining Synthetic Grass

The rising demand for artificial grass and turf has led to thousands of installations across America, with over a thousand more being added annually.² Schools, municipalities, and businesses are increasingly adopting artificial grass and turf as a sustainable...

The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Septic System

According to a study by the EPA 53% of home septic systems were found to be ill-maintained. Ill-maintained septic systems that start with minor issues can turn into septic system failures, resulting in backups and odors, leaving your customers with quite the mess to...

Making a Difference: Volunteering to Improve Our Community

We believe that everyone can make a difference, but only through action. MDG recognizes the need for sustainable solutions to the world’s largest problems: Lack of accessible food Limited access to clean water, and Poor sanitation and disease These issues compel us...

Global Leader in Bacillus Fermentation Exhibits at RAFT®15

Oak Creek, WI (October 17, 2023) - Microbial Discovery Group (MDG) is exhibiting at Recent Advances in Fermentation Technology (RAFT®) 15th conference on October 29-November 1, 2023. The Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) organized the...

Bacillus Manufacturing and R&D Company Exhibits at Aquatech Amsterdam

Microbial Discovery Group Exhibits and Presents Bioaugmentation Success in Wastewater Oak Creek, WI (October 3, 2023) - Microbial Discovery Group (MDG) will exhibit at Aquatech Amsterdam 2023, the world’s leading trade exhibition for process, drinking, and wastewater,...

Trusted Process: MDG’s Gold Standard

MDG’s customer-centric approach to quality manufacturing and support ensures consistent, repeatable results for our customers. This is done through our trusted process; our gold standard at MDG. Can you be confident in our manufacturing process yielding consistent...

Bacillus-based Cleaning with Jennifer Cray

This is MDG The: Podcast with experts in the field of microbiology, teaching us about the world we live in and how Bacillus is shaping it. We put this summary together taken from the transcript, for more details and to hear straight from Jenny, head to the podcast!...

50+ Strains: Why We Supply

  Part of what is driving Microbial Discovery Group’s (MDG) current expansion is our desire to produce 50+ strains. Why do we want to be a Bacillus company that produces 50+ strains? Essentially, to offer the best service and products for our customers. Below are...

What is bioaugmentation?

At MDG, we continue to discover all the possibilities to treat wastewater with Bacillus. Through years of research and development, we’ve found that bioaugmentation is the answer for wastewater treatment. Bioaugmentation is the process of adding scientifically...

Related News