Industrial Fluid Management, Inc. took part in a trial in which a long time bioaugmentation customer experimented with the addition of barley straw to its lagoon system to help prevent the excessive buildup of algae.
In the past, IFM had observed that the lagoon bioaugmentation program often reduces algae in part, due to nutrient consumption by bacterial cultures. This reduction, however, was not often great enough to enable many lagoon systems to meet their total suspended solids limits.
A Northwest Ohio Municipality experiencing total suspended solids concentration and loadings violations approached IFM on methods to reduce these violations. IFM recommended that bales of barley straw be installed on existing aerator cables. The bales were suspended into the top two feet of the lagoon surface, enhancing contact time with the flow of water. This installation would allow sunlight to hit the straw, initiating the peroxide production, but also allow bacteria to â€œsloughâ€ off the straw and mix with the daily flow.
The end result of the project yielded total suspended solids concentrations below 10 mg/l and also improved solids degradation in the sludge layer by the bioaugmentation cultures.
Several positive effects can be realized by supplementing barley straw to a lagoon bioaugmentation program: The breakdown of barley straw ultimately leads to the formation of peroxides that inhibit algal growth. The barley straw properly installed at key locations of the lagoon also provide bioaugmentation cultures a media or substrate for bacteria to grow and reproduce on, leading to enhanced bacterial populations.
IFM is developing a more universal method to properly and efficiently adapt barley straw applications to different lagoon configurations. Many lagoon operators will then have a cost effective approach to enhance their bioaugmentation program with a method to potentially reduce total suspended solids levels due to algal growth.