Aerial view of the Warren, Maine lagoon system. Photo courtesy of Woodard and Curran.

Lagoon Systems In Maine 

Systems In Maine

An Informational Resource for
Operators of Lagoon Systems

Mars Hill Wastewater Lagoon System - Mars Hill  Maine. Photo Courtesy of Wright-Pierce Engineers.
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More Aeration Reading

Coarse Bubble
Fine Bubble
Mechanical Mixers
The Right System 
EDI Technical Bulletins

Fine Bubble Aeration

Caribou, Maine

Aerial view of the Caribou, Maine 
lagoon system.


The use of diffused aeration generally comes down to a choice of using coarse bubble versus fine bubble diffusers. Originally, most diffused air systems used fine bubbles created with porous type media such as ceramic plates. These systems were prone to plugging and fell out of favor over twenty years ago in lieu of coarse bubble diffusers. The coarse diffusers systems are less prone to plug because they push the air mass out through large orifices. Their primary disadvantage is the loss of efficiency that is inherent in using large versus small bubbles.

     If a given volume of air is broken into large bubbles, while an equal amount of air is broken into small bubbles, the smaller bubbles will create a greater opportunity for oxygen to transfer into the water. This is because the smaller bubbles will contain the same volume of air in a greater number of air bubbles. As the number of bubbles increase, so does the available surface area over which air can be transferred into water. Fine bubbles are much more efficient at transferring air because they create a larger transfer surface area per unit volume of added air. While coarse bubble diffusion efficiency may have an OTE of 0.75% per foot of pond depth, fine bubble systems may have an OTE of up to 2% per foot. This means that twice as much air can be transferred from the same air volume using fine bubbles as could occur using coarse bubbles.

     As operators look to optimize their plants and streamline costs, many turn to fine bubble technology. Compared to many older systems, fine bubble aeration can reduce the power required to transfer oxygen (and its associated costs) by up to 50 percent.

For more information on the use of fine bubble aeration one may consult the Water Pollution Control Federation's Manual of Practice FD - 13 entitled "Aeration".

fine bubble aerator with ceramic memberane

Fine bubble diffuser with a porous type media.
 Unit is filled with concrete for ballast and resides on pond floor

fine bubble aerator with rubber membrane

Fine bubble unit has rubber type membrane sleeves
with multiple slits that expand and release fine
bubbles under pressure.


Read another article on fine bubble aeration 
prepared by Woodard and Curran



sewage lagoons


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