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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Linvil G. Rich
Alumni Professor Emeritus
Department of Environmental
 Engineering and Science

Clemson University - 
Clemson, SC 29634-0919 USA
Tel. (864) 656-5575; Fax (864) 656-0672


Technical Note Number 10



      The discharge of the reactor basin through the sludge basin in a continuous flow, intermittent discharge (CFID) nitrification system is predicated on the assumption that there is no feed back of ammonia from the bottom sludge deposit to the over lying water column (See Technical Note Number 7). Such an assumption is supported by some early research by Mortimer (1971) and Fillos and Molof (1972). They found that as long as the dissolved oxygen in the water column is maintained at 2 to 4 mg/L, very little, if any, ammonia escaped from the deposit. Recent investigations conducted on an aerated lagoon by Jim Matthews of On Line Environmental, Inc. provide additional support to the assumption. The aerated lagoon studied is a 3 mgd dual-power multicellular (DPMC) aerated lagoon system located at Allendale, SC. The system, which is currently operating at about one-third of its capacity, consists of one fully-suspended aerated cell (29 hp/106 gal of volume), followed by two partially-suspended aerated cells (10 hp/106 gal of volume) in series. Although such systems are not recommended for dependable nitrification, some nitrification does occur in such systems, especially during summer months in under-loaded systems such as the one in Allendale.

         The monthly average ammonia nitrogen concentration in the cell effluents are illustrated in Figure 1. The data shows that in all months (14 months), the average ammonia concentration in the effluent of the third cell was equal to, or less than, the ammonia found in the effluent of the first cell. The figure does not establish that there was no feed back, but is does indicate that if feed back does occur, nitrification in the two cells equals, or is greater than, the ammonia feed back. As a matter of general interest, Figure 2 illustrates the concurrent total HRT in the partially-suspended cells (cells 2 and 3) along with the final effluent TSS and BOD5.


  1. Fillos, J. and Molof, A. H. (1972). "Effect of benthal deposits on oxygen and nutrient economy of flowing waters." Journal of Water Pollution Control Federation, 44, 644-662.


  2. Mortimer, C. H. (1971). "Chemical exchanges between sediments and water in the great lakes - speculations on probable regulatory mechanisms." Limnology and Oceanography, 17, 387-404.








Technical Note 1 Effluent BOD5 - A Misleading Parameter For the Performance of Aerated Lagoons Treating Municipal Waste
Technical Note 2 Aerated Lagoon Effluents
Technical Note 3 Control of Algae
Technical Note 4 Nitrites and Their Impact on Effluent Chlorination
Technical Note 5 Aerated Lagoons for Secondary Effluent
Technical Note 6

Nitrification in Aerated Lagoons With Intermittent Sand Filters

Technical Note 7

Mixed Liquor Recycle (MLR) Lagoon Nitrification System

Technical Note 8 Facultative Lagoons - A Different Technology
Technical Note 9 Sludge Accumulation in High Performance Aerated Lagoon Systems
Technical Note 10

Ammonia Feed Back in the Sludge of a CFID Nitirification System




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