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Water SA

On-line version ISSN 1816-7950
Print version ISSN 0378-4738


MARAIS, GvR; EKAMA, GA  and  WENTZEL, MC. Application of the activated sludge model to aerated lagoons. Water SA [online]. 2017, vol.43, n.2, pp.238-257. ISSN 1816-7950.

The different kinds of aerated lagoons, which exclude anaerobic pre-treatment ponds, are described and the design approach for aerated lagoons is explained. This hinges around ensuring that the 1st lagoon is suspension mixed and the second and any additional are facultative. Selection of the retention time for the 1st lagoon is important to ensure complete utilization of the influent biodegradable organics. Minimum retention times to achieve this at 14°C and 22°C were determined with the general activated sludge kinetic simulation model for (i) readily biodegradable soluble organics (BSO) only, (ii) slowly biodegradable particulate organics (BPO) only, (iii) real municipal wastewater (20% BSO and 80% BPO) and (iv) real municipal wastewater with 5% OHO active VSS mass seed. The minimum hydraulic retention times for these four cases are: at 14°C 1.3, 3.0, 2.0 and 1.5 d, respectively, and at 22°C 0.3, 2.0, 1.2 and 1.0 d, respectively. From a comparison of the simulation results with the steady-state model calculations, washout of OHOs takes place at about 75% of these retention times. Approximate equations to estimate the power requirements for aeration by mechanical surface aerators and mixing are given. These equations are combined with those of the steady-state activated sludge lagoon model for calculating the oxygen requirements and the aeration power density (W/m3) in each lagoon. With these equations, it is shown that influent COD concentration needs to be between an upper and lower limit band to ensure that the 1st lagoon is suspension mixed and the second lagoon is facultative. This COD concentration band decreases as the influent flow increases. The important conclusion arising from this is that if the aerated lagoon system is applied for small rural communities, where land for these large systems is likely to be available, then additional mixing energy above that for aeration will need to be provided to ensure that the 1st lagoon is suspension mixed - this additional aeration cost makes it unlikely that aerated lagoons will be applied for municipal wastewater treatment. Matching mixing and aeration power requirements for industrial organic wastewaters is easier because these usually are significantly stronger than municipal wastewaters.

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