Operation

The operation of sludge lagoons and landfills can be based on a 3-yr cycle. In such an operation, the lagoon is filled for a year and then allowed to dry for 18 months followed by cleaning. The supporting soil lies fallow for 6 months before the lagoon returns to operation.

For a dewatering lagoon, filling to a depth of 2.5 to 4 ft is suggested. Wastewater treatment facilities can do this filling by first adding a layer of 1 ft of sludge, then switching temporarily to a second lagoon to allow drying, and then adding the remaining layers to the first lagoon. With one wet year, a 4-ft depth can provide 2 to 3 years of capacity with this procedure.

Sludge lagooning for land reclamation does not require removal of the sludge. Landfilling with dewatered waste-water sludge mixed with municipal solid waste can improve the operation of sanitary landfills by accelerating degradation in the landfill and thereby shortening the time until the landfill can be used.

The principal advantages of lagooning and landfilling for ultimate waste sludge disposal are the low operating and maintenance costs. Among the disadvantages, large areas are required, nuisance difficulties may exist, and ground and surface water can be polluted by leachate. Landfill operations also require an adequate earth supply for covering the fill area.

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