written by Natalie Whitaker, summer 2020 co-op student
During the water treatment process, waste sludge is produced from removing sediments that come in with the raw water supply, as well as when filters are backwashed. This waste sludge is constantly pumped into the onsite lagoon throughout the process. The lagoon is most often murky and muddy as the sediments settle out from the raw water of Lake Hartwell.
After about a year of wastes accumulating in the lagoon, it needs to be cleaned out. This process is known as lagoon dredging. Currently at Anderson Regional, we are in the process of dredging our lagoon. This is necessary in order to allow us to continue to pump out wastes and keep the water treatment process as optimized as possible. For the past several years, Bio-nomic Services out of Charlotte, NC has been contracted to perform the dredge.
To remove the sludge, a barge is placed in the lagoon. The barge pulls the sludge out of the lagoon where it is then placed in a holding bin. From here, the sludge is moved to belt press where the water is squeezed out of the sediment mixture. This creates a solid, charcoal-like substance that is then loaded onto a dump truck and taken to a landfill. The remaining water is then introduced back into the plant for treatment.