A sludge lagoon has been adopted as a simple and cost effective method for dewatering of sludge. The processes occurring in a sludge lagoon include thickening, dewatering, storage and stabilization; all happening simultaneously. The objective of this study is to determine the dewatering and drying rates at pilot-scale which occur in a lagoon having different design configurations. Two types of sludge lagoons with different initial sludge depth (0.75 m and 0.375 m) were investigated to measure the drying behavior and drying efficiency. The first design is a sludge lagoon with a clay bottom where the dewatering mechanisms are decanting supernatant and evaporation. The second design is a sludge lagoon installed with a sand and underdrains system, where the dewatering mechanisms are filtration or draining and evaporation. Sludge drying kinetic models with high fitness were plotted to describe the sludge drying behavior. Drying of sludge in a sludge lagoon with a clay bottom can best be described by an exponential function. Whereas, drying of sludge in a sludge lagoon with sand and underdrains system followed a logarithmic function. A lagoon designed with sand and underdrains system and having shallower sludge depth was the most efficient. The reduction in volatile solids was lower than 4% during the study period. The drying process proceeded with an increase in dryness and decline in pH value.

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