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Lagoon Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a nutrient that causes environmental degradation. Here’s what you need to know.

Phosphorus’ effect on the environment

  • Phosphorus is a nutrient that act as a fertilizer for aquatic plants, leading to eutrophication which degrades the water quality within receiving streams.
  • Environmental regulators across North America have begun implementing stricter phosphorus effluent requirements on wastewater lagoons.
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Phosphorus removal pathways

  • Biological phosphorus removal is not proven in lagoons.
  • Phosphorus removal requires precipitation through the use of a chemical, like aluminum sulphate or ferric chloride.
  • The chemical binds to the phosphorus molecule and allows it to be either settled or filtered.

Settling lagoon phosphorus

  • Once most of the BOD/NH3 has been treated, a chemical precipitant is mixed in, typically between the secondary treatment cell and the polishing cell.
  • The precipitant binds to the phosphorus and other solids and settles to the bottom of the polishing cell.
  • Typically in a municipal system, effluent TP of ~ 1 mg/L can be consistently achieved.
  • The downside is that sludge will accumulate in the polishing cell faster and eventually need to be removed.
Lagoon Phosphorus

Tertiary filtration of lagoon phosphorus

Kennett Phosbox
  • Tertiary filtration with chemical coagulation at the end of a lagoon system can achieve very low effluent phosphorus levels (<0.5 mg/L).
  • Coagulant is thoroughly mixed with the wastewater so it binds to as much phosphorus as possible.
  • Once the coagulant binds to the phosphorus, it is filtered by 10 micron cloth media and the clean water is discharged.
  • Filters have automatic backwash mechanisms. Backwash material can be returned to the front of the system or sent to a storage lagoon.

Leverages lagoons.
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BOD Removal

Related Blog Posts

Lagoon phosphorus effluent limits are becoming increasingly common as regulators protect surface waters that are threatened by excess nutrients.

Lagoon phosphorus removal to meet low effluent standards can be achieved cost effectively via chemical precipitation and filtration.

This episode of Lagoon Do It Better TV examines lagoon phosphorus: why it’s regulated and how to meet new effluent limits.

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