Winter Is Coming

Wastewater Lagoon Management in Colder Temperatures

As we make our way through Autumn and into the Winter months, it is important to ensure that your wastewater lagoon is prepared for the cold weather that lays ahead. Making sure that all your equipment is properly protected and maintained should be your priority but re-evaluating your treatment choices also makes sense at this time of the year.

During the colder months, the growth of good bacteria will be stunted which can lead to a multitude of problems including nutrient build up. As this occurs, your ammonia levels will rise due to imbalances and the lack of nitrifiers, which throws things even further out of alignment. This essentially turns your water toxic and can decimate the population levels of your friendly bacterial friends, as they are particularly susceptible to toxic conditions due to their thin cell walls. Once your bacteria levels drop too low, sludge, algae and organic waste will multiply, thus leading to a self-perpetuating downward spiral.

Another danger to look out for at this time of year is an inversion of the layers within your water body. Because different water temperatures have different densities, and external factors can impact water density, changes in external conditions can turn the layers of your water body literally upside down. This will mobilise your sediments and sludge, allowing them to pollute all layers and rise to the surface to feed algae. This then blocks sunlight and oxygen from being able to enter your water and traps all the remaining good bacteria that was floating about happily within your top layer at the bottom of your water body. This suffocates them and essentially puts the final nail in the coffin as they not only love, but need, light and air.

Once your friendly bacteria are dead, they become part of the sludge that collects along the bottom of your water body, leading to an increase in odours and further contributing to other imbalances within your aquatic ecosystem. One of the main issues that will arise in this instance, is that your water body will start to experience an inability to break down oils, fats and other nasty compounds, therefore leading to a slick layer of grossness forming on the surface and exacerbating the problem further. Or, to cut a long story short, means you’ll have a lagoon that both looks and smells disgusting.

Your go to solution may be to dump some nitrifiers in the water in an attempt to restore oxygen and balance but if you’ve already got FOG, this alone will not be very effective. This is because most fats, oils and types of grease that will appear in an unhealthy aquatic ecosystem are too large for the friendly bacteria to feed upon.

Because of this, other treatments must also be applied in order to break the FOG down to a palatable size before you introduce and stimulate your nitrifying bacteria. As a general rule, you will want products such as Foam Buster, Greaseziller or Qwik-zyme L or P but your quantities and application methods will vary depending on what stage of degradation your water body has reached.

If you’re confident in identifying and applying what your lagoon needs to be restored to a healthy condition, get in touch to order the product that you need. If you’re not quite so sure, a member of our friendly expert team will be happy to come assess the situation and implement treatment for you.

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