Oxidation Ditch

The oxidation ditch is a variation of the aerated raw sewage lagoon in that the process combines settling and aerobic biological oxidation in a single unit. Oxidation ditches are effective in treating the waste of small communities. Similar to lagoons, construction and operating costs are low and they can be constructed rapidly. The energy requirement for treatment is small, and operator attention is minimal.

Oxidation ditches operate on higher loadings than aerated ponds. A circulation rate of about 1 ft per sec maintains the solids in suspension. Oxygenation is supplied by an aeration rotor system, which is a power unit of either angle-iron or cage design.

The single-ditch unit in Part A in Figure 7.21.10 operates in the following sequence:

First, the aeration rotor is turned off when the overflow level of the ditch is reached. After sludge settling occurs in the ditch, additional raw waste is pumped in displacing a like volume of supernatant, and this cycle repeats. When the detention time of raw waste sewage is at least 24 hr and sufficient oxygen is present, the quantity of excess sludge is small.

Part B in Figure 7.21.10 shows the multiple-ditch configuration. Ditches B and C are alternately used for set tling, while ditch A operates continuously. When ditch B is used for settling, the gates connecting pond A with B are closed, and the aeration rotor in ditch B is shut off. When the ditch is not used for settling, the aeration rotor is turned on, and the ditch functions in an auxiliary treatment capacity. After settling occurs in either ditch B or C, the gates to the ditch are opened, and the supernatant is discharged as in the single-ditch unit. After the supernatant is discharged, the settled sludge in the ditch is resuspended and distributed by the aeration rotor in that ditch.

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