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Surface Aerator: uses, advantages and operational efficiency for your business
Water is one of the most important necessities for our everyday life. It is continually used by households, businesses and factories. However, rapid technological development coupled with environmental concerns have made many major changes in the way we use water. It is no longer about usability only but also reusability.
Water management has gone through various changes over the years. Not only water for consumption, wastewater management or recycling has become more established and essential today. That means storage of more and more produced water. For water management to succeed, it is necessary to accumulate enough produced water in the right area, in sufficient quantity and quality to allow for a high utilization rates.
The process of gathering produced water leads to larger pits and longer retention times. However, even with a successful bacteria control program, stored water will show bacteria regrowth. Traditionally pit treatments will follow, but unfortunately, they are highly inefficient and very expensive. Higher costs may come from poor mixing and oxidizer or biocide transfer throughout the water. Even if the mixing and transfer process issues can be normalized, it requires multiple repetitions due to are short-lived treatments. Higher treatment costs eventually bring the industry to a search for a better wastewater treatment equipment. This results in aeration.
What is Aeration?
Aeration is the introduction of air into the water body to allow oxygen to be absorbed into liquid, water or another substance. Why oxygen? Because it is a mild oxidizer and can provide control of bacteria, iron and sulfides. An effective aeration process requires many variables to be considered. Mechanical aeration can significantly reduce the amount of chemicals needed to treat a body of water by providing the oxygen that bacteria need to function properly.
Types of Aeration
There are two common types of water aeration: subsurface and surface. Subsurface or submersible aerator is positioned as close to the bottom as possible while surface aerator is placed on or near the surface. Submersible aerator is a better choice because it allows air to enter at the bottom of the water column, which means a more efficient oxygen transfer, Most of the systems across the world use submersible aerators. By allowing air to enter at the bottom and travel upwards, the retention time of air in the water increases and provides more time for oxygen to be absorbed.
Surface aerator, on the other hand, serves a specific purpose, an odor cap. By aerating the top few feet of water, surface aerator will provide a few feet of sufficiently aerated water to absorb odors from unaerated water below. This is a useful feature of wastewater treatment equipment for certain types of lagoons and ponds. However, if water is pumped from below, then there is no practical benefit from this type of aeration. Produced water will be of poor quality until pumping reaches the top few feet of the water body.
Surface aerator pushes water from under the surface up into the air, and then the droplets fall back into the water, mixing in oxygen. The jets of water break the surface with varying degrees of force.
Advantages of Surface Aerator
1. Easy to operate
A practical reason why surface aerator is used in ponds and lagoons is when some of them contain a significant amount of sediment which makes submersible aerators difficult to operate and impractical to install.
2. Eliminate floating organics
Surface aerator is also useful in reducing lighter organics that tend to float on top of the water. Trihalomethane (THM) is a common byproduct to chlorine-based disinfection and a surface aerator is very effective in mitigating THM.
3. Increase evaporation.
Surface aeration creates surface agitation to enhance evaporation. As a wastewater treatment equipment, surface aerator is easer to deploy since there is no need to empty the water basin.
Types of Surface Aerator
There are several types of surface aerators such as floating, bubblers, fountains, and agitators. When these have a high pumping rate, they can effectively mix liquids in water treatment lagoons and tanks. Often, these have low trajectory sprays, a feature that produces high oxygen transfer rates. Floating aerator can be used in many applications such as wastewater treatment, leachate treatment, supplemental aeration, and sequencing batch reactors to release unwanted gases from the water.
Floating paddle wheel aerator is another type of wastewater treatment equipment. The rotating blades produce strong, horizontal mixing action and create a high oxygen transfer rate through the mist created by the paddle. It can be used alone or in groups to create flow patterns in oxidation ditches, lagoons, or tanks. How well surface aeration works depends on the amount of surface contact between the air and water. Because it sits on the surface, this type is effective in introducing oxygen to the top foot or so of a body of water, depending on the type of nozzle used.
Surface aerator may encounter adverse effect on some applications due to heat, which ignites higher rates of evaporation.
Surface Aeration Applications
Many industrial activities need aeration, including food processing, petrochemical, as well as pulp and paper mills. It is also commonly used to treat agricultural wastes. Surface aerator can keep still bodies of waters circulating, healthy, and odor-free. Examples are water features on golf courses or in public parks. These decorative water features and aquaculture ponds may have specific needs to keep fish and plants healthy.
Other applications for surface aerators are raw sewage storage tanks, SBR (sequencing batch reactor), equalization and contact basins, nitrification/denitrification, sludge storage tanks, sludge stabilization, storm water tanks, aeration of lagoons, mixture of fluids and powders, neutralization by means of gas introduction.
Every aeration technology is designed to address a specific or range of challenges. For best usage, contact Mectron for more information on surface aeration that works for you.