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Sewerage Plants can actually work and not produce sludge

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Sewerage Plants can actually work and not produce sludge

Sewerage Plants can actually work and not produce sludge

Posted on March 8, 2021 by Thabo Mndaweni

Authoring Organizations: Uthingo Gauteng Environmental Services PTY (Ltd)
Consulting Organizations: Uthingo Gauteng Environmental Services PTY (Ltd)
Universal: Yes
Last Updated Apr 12, 2021

Overview

OXIDATION PONDS

  • Oxidation ponds were developed during times when the populations were not as great as we are experiencing today.
  • Water quality requirements have been strictly increased for compliance for release.
  • Today the water compliance is close to a class 1 specification in order to protect our waterways.
  • Oxidation ponds are no longer compliant due to the large areas required to produce the results. IE: 100gm BOD per cubic meter

After several years, about 15. The anaerobic ponds are deep up to 3 to 5m. These ponds eventually become solid with settled sewage sludge. To remove this sludge Is expensive

Environmental issues

  • One cannot pump the water into the environment during the cleaning
  • Where does one go with the removed sludge? Remember, this sludge is high in pathogens and cannot just be dumped.
  • To remove this sludge, one must use mechanical equipment, which in turn is very expensive. Tractors cannot be used in this soft sludge so dredgers would have to be brought in.
  • The linings would be damaged and must be replaced
  • This causes danger for the people working in the environment
  • What does one do with the daily effluent when cleaning the ponds?
  • If diverted to the other ponds, the water results pose a danger to waterways.
  • This poses a problem with the health of the laborer’s
  • There is a danger in drowning
  • Odors can be a problem
  • Unsightly sewage sludge floating on the surface
  • Costs are high to refurbish these settling ponds
  • Costs could be as much as R2million for refurbishing
  • 15 to 20 years down the line, the problem will again surface

Sludge removal

  • Sludge accumulates inside the ponds. It needs to be removed only in the interval of several years. This is an important advantage of the system. However, when removal is necessary, it is usually an expensive and labor-intensive operation. Removal is more frequent in anaerobic ponds (every few years), because of their smaller volume and lower capacity to store the sludge, compared with facultative ponds. In facultative ponds, sludge removal may be necessary only in intervals around 15 to 25 years. In maturation ponds, sludge accumulation is very low.
  • Sludge removal, also called desludging, may be done in two basic ways: (i) interrupting the operation of the pond for desludging or (ii) keeping the pond in operation while desludging. In the first case, the influent wastewater to the pond to be dislodged and closed.
  • Afterward, the pond is drained, and the bottom sludge is left for open drying for several weeks. During this period, the wastewater to be treated needs to be diverted to other ponds in the system. After the sludge has dried, its removal may be done manually (very laborious in large ponds) or mechanically using tractors or mechanical scrapers.
  • In the second alternative, when the pond is left in operation during desludging, the removed sludge will be wet and will require further drying. This is undertaken outside the pond.
  • Sludge removal can be by suction and pumping using vacuum trucks (only for small ponds), dredging, pumping from a raft, or involving other mechanical equipment. In either case, the amount of sludge to be removed is very high, considering its accumulation over a period of years. This process is very laborious, very expensive, and requires careful planning.

UTHINGO GAUTENG HAS A PERMANENT SOLUTION:

Replace the settling ponds with the unique Uthingo sewage system

  • low maintenance
  • low electrical costs
  • no moving parts
  • class 1 effluent release
  • no sludge buildup

ADVANTAGES OF THE UTHINGO SEWAGE SYSTEM

  • THE DESIGN USES THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY CREATING A HIGHER EFFICIENCY
  • CREATES A SMALLER FOOTPRINT AT LOWER COSTS SAVES ON AREA AND CAPITAL COSTS
  • CAN BE PLACED UNDERGROUND WITH ONLY THE MANHOLES VISIBLE
  • NO DANGER OFCHILDREN OR ANIMALS DROWNING
  • THE FINAL WATER RELEASED TO SPECIAL STANDARDS
  • THE FINAL WATER MAY BE POLISHED TO A POTABLE QUALITY
  • ALTERNATIVELY, THE WATER MAY BE RE-CYCLED FOR MANY OTHER USES
  • THE PLANTS ARE RELATIVELY QUIET RUNNING AND DO NOT SPOIL THE VIEW
  • THE PLANTS MAY BE COVERED WITH SOIL AND GRASS
  • NO ODOUR, FLIES OR MOSQUITOES
  • NO MOVING PARTS THAT CAUSE EXCSESIVE BREAK DOWNS OR MAINTENANCE
  • THE PLANTS CAN BE PLACED CLOSE TO THE HOUSES WITH OUT DANGER
  • NO HIGH LEVELS OF CONTROL REQUIRED
  • MAINTENANCE CAN BE CARRIED OUT BY UNSKILLED LABOUR
  • PLANTS ARE SELF OPPERATING REQUIRING NO FULL TIME LABOUR
  • SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCED PIPING INSTALLATIONS
  • ADAPTABILITY AND FLEXABILTIY OF PLACEMENT
  • SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCED ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
  • GRAVITY FED, ELIMINATING THE DANGER OF SEWAGE SPILLAGES
  • DO NOT DEVELOP SLUDGE REQUIRING EXPENSIVE DISPOSAL

PROPOSAL FOR THE CLOSING OF THE SETTLING PONDS

  • Divert the effluent to the new Uthingo sewage plant
  • Fence off the entire area of the settling ponds
  • Allow the effluent to evaporate to the atmosphere
  • The ponds are lined, and the sludge cannot create a problem
  • Allow the sludge to dry
  • Fill in the dried ponds.

Benefits

THE DESIGN USES THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY CREATING A HIGHER EFFICIENCY

CREATES A SMALLER FOOTPRINT AT LOWER COSTS

SAVES ON AREA AND CAPITAL COSTS

CAND BE PLACED UNDERGROUND WITH ONLY THE MANHOLES VISIBLE

NO DANGER OF CHILDREN OR ANIMALS DROWNING

THE FINAL WATER RELEASED TO SPECIAL STANDARDS

THE FINAL WATER MAY BE POLISHED TO A POTABLE QUALITY

ALTERNATIVELY, THE WATER MAY BE RE-CYCLED FOR MANY OTHER USES

THE PLANTS ARE RELATIVELY QUIET RUNNING AND DO NOT SPOIL THE VIEW

THE PLANTS MAY BE COVERED WITH SOIL AND GRASS

NO ODOUR, FLIES, OR MOSQUITOES

NO MOVING PARTS THAT CAUSE EXCESSIVE BREAKDOWNS

THE PLANTS CAN BE PLACED CLOSE TO THE HOUSES WITHOUT DANGER

NO HIGH LEVELS OF CONTROL REQUIRED

MAINTENANCE CAN BE CARRIED OUT BY UNSKILLED LABOR

PLANTS ARE SELF OPERATING REQUIRING NO FULL-TIME LABOUR

SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCED PIPING INSTALLATIONS

ADAPTABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY OF PLACEMENT

SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCED ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

GRAVITY FED, ELIMINATING THE DANGER OF SEWAGE SPILLAGES

DO NOT DEVELOP SLUDGE REQUIRING EXPENSIVE DISPOSAL

Guidance

Give Uthingo a chance to showcase this extraordinary technology

Example

Sewerage Plants can actually work and not produce sludge

Projects that have validated this Lesson


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This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.