In order to evaluate the performance and capacity of an aeration basin, it is critical to evaluate all of the eight key growth pressures – food loading, pH, toxicity, aeration, retention time, nutrients, biomass, and temperature.
While retention time is something which mills often feel they have no control over, loss of retention time or short-circuiting is one of the most common causes of poor aerated stabilization basin performance. A comprehensive Aerated Stabilization Basin (ASB) evaluation, incorporating a tracer study, depth profile, profile sampling for numerous parameters, and possibly a treatability study, can provide enormous insight into the capabilities and shortcomings of your system. This information is essential in order to make sound business decisions regarding operational and capital expenses, such as baffle installation or repair, dredging, additional aeration, nutrient optimization, or temperature control.
A retention time or tracer study is designed to provide an overview of your basin to determine retention time, flow patterns, and basin capacities. This study can be helpful in answering any questions, such as:
Environmental Business Specialists prefers the use of Lithium for tracer studies over fluorescent or biological tracers. Lithium is easy to recover with good analytical precision. Tracer studies are not just measures of the concentration over time of Lithium leaving your system, but of study design and interpretation. EBS also performs pond Lithium profile studies, which aid in flow pattern determination, as well as performance parameters such as BOD, COD, nutrients, DO and ORP. These parameters help determine flow patterns such as short-circuiting, but also operational issues such as nutrient deficiency.
For tracer studies to continue to be a useful troubleshooting tool, they must be performed regularly to determine changes in sludge loading and flow patterns. Many mills schedule a tracer study every year or every other year to obtain the historical data and monitor pond changes both from an operational point of view but also from a budgeting perspective. A sample analysis of a comprehensive tracer study is available for your review.
For more information on tracer studies and how they can be of benefit to your mill, call our EBS office at 985-674-0660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.