Severe climate, intermittent rivers and availability of land make facultative lagoon systems the method of choice in treating primarily domestic sewage from smaller municipalities. The lagoons are designed on a recommended maximum load of 55 kgBOD5/ha d to first cell, while the second cell provides storage. The discharge is twice annually and the occurrence of the spring ice break-up odor period is one of the primary criteria limiting this load. Based on full scale performance data, it is demonstrated that, from the standpoint of odor nuisance, the load to the first cell should be kept equal to or less than 35 kg/ha d. Full scale studies of an overloaded lagoon system show the futility of under-ice aeration for odor control. Mechanism of natural odor control during ice break up is elucidated. Upgrading of the overloaded systems or lagoons receiving significant industrial contribution is best achieved by construction of a 3–5 m deep aerated lagoon preceding the two or more facultative cells in series.

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