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topic 10640

Floating Sludge in Settlement Tower


We have a problem with sludge floating (instead of sinking) in our effluent settlement tower. The sludges settles on entry to the tower, and floats after a weekend break. We are pretty sure that this is down to bacteria in the sludge creating gasses, which then aerate the sludge and make it float. We can get the sludge to sink again by mixing it. I've heard that biocide treatment will stop this. Has anyone had any similar experience and could offer some advice.

Paul Beel
- Crook, County Durham, England


I have never heard of the proposed solution I'm going to run up the flagpole, but what if you chilled the contents of the clarifier with a cooling coil over the weekend? Besides biological activity, another possible explanation is the sludge warming up, causing the dissolved air to come out of it due to decreased solubility. I believe that I have seen this in industrial clarifiers.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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