What Are Lagoon Layers?

What Are Lagoon Layers?

Layers are a common issue in covered lagoons. Over time, these layers can build up and form a thick sheet at the bottom of your lagoon. This layer can compromise the lagoon's structural integrity and cause it to operate less efficiently. That's why your covered lagoon needs regular cleaning to stay in good condition.

What Is a Wastewater Lagoon Layer?

Lagoon layers are an accumulation of biosolids at the bottom of a lagoon. Layer components typically include dead bacteria, sand, gravel, silt, plants, algae and insoluble metals.

Most wastewater treatment lagoons are partial-mix systems that accommodate 1 to 2 feet of layer buildup. Depending on your operations, layer accumulation can easily surpass that amount within a few years. When more than 1.5 to 2 feet of layers have built up, numerous problems can develop, including:


  • Insufficient treatment: Layer accumulation reduces your lagoon's capacity, resulting in lower retention time and less treatment.
  • Benthal feedback: Components of settled layers in your lagoon's benthic zone can be fed back into the water column, releasing phosphorus, ammonia and other harmful substances.
  • Floating and popping: Noxious gases released during the anaerobic digestion process can build up under the layer, forcing it to the lagoon's surface.
  • Lagoon odors: Floating layers and rising anaerobic digestion gases can create strong, unpleasant odors.


Traditional Covered Lagoon Cleaning Methods

While lagoon cleaning is crucial for preventing excessive layer buildup, it can also be challenging. Traditional lagoon cleaning methods typically require draining your lagoon and halting your operations, resulting in costly downtime.

You'll also need to remove a significant portion of your cover, which is an expensive process that can compromise your cover's integrity. New materials generated while your lagoon is out of production must also be stored somewhere else, and finding temporary storage solutions can be pricey.

Traditional procedures usually involve manual cleaning. Workers must often enter a confined space in a harsh environment to get the job done. Manual entry increases your employees' chance of injury and exposure hours, risking their safety.

Bristola's Zero-Human Entry Cleaning Solution for Covered Lagoon Systems

At Bristola, we've eliminated the problems associated with traditional lagoon cleaning. Our innovative system uses submersible remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to clean your lagoon while it's full. You won't have to stop production or have employees enter the tank, saving your company time and money while protecting your workers.

Submit an online contact form to learn more about our zero-human entry cleaning system for covered lagoons. We have over 20 years of experience cleaning lagoons with proven results.