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Sludge Reduction and Water Quality Improvement in Anaerobic Lagoons through Influent Pre-Treatment

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008946.(doi:10.13031/2013.29888)
Authors:   Ariel A Szogi, Matias B Vanotti
Keywords:   Lagoons, Swine manure treatment, Solid-liquid separation, Nitrification/denitrification, Closure, Lagoon sludge, Solids.

Confined swine production generates large volumes of wastewater typically stored and treated in anaerobic lagoons. These lagoons may require cleanup and closure measures in the future. In practice, liquid and sludge need to be removed by pumping, usually at great expense of energy, and land applied at agronomic rates on adjacent fields without damage to ground or surface water. Alternative lagoon cleanup methods were investigated in a pilot lagoon study by pre-treating the liquid swine manure prior to entering the lagoon. The study consisted of comparing side by side the effect of solid-liquid separated effluent and a new advanced system (solid-liquid separation followed by biological N treatment) on water quality improvement and sludge mass reduction. As a control, an anaerobic lagoon regularly loaded with raw manure was included in the study. Lagoon liquid was monitored for water quality improvements on a monthly basis. After 15 months, water quality improvements with respect to the anaerobic lagoon control (such as reduction of suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand and N concentration) were moderate with separated liquid but highly significant with the biological N pre-treatment. Anaerobic sludge mass reduction with respect to the control was significant for both pre-treatments; sludge mass reduction was 34% with separated liquid alone and 45% with biological N pre-treatment. Implementation of this technology could resolve the problems of excess sludge distribution during lagoon cleanup or extend lagoon life.

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