Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Matteo D'Alessio

Second Advisor

Cristiane Surbeck

Third Advisor

Kristine Willett

Relational Format



Lagoon wastewater treatment systems are commonly used in areas that do not have the available resources for typical mechanical wastewater treatment. Lagoon systems consist of multiple preliminary lagoons, but mainly rely on long-term facultative lagoons for most analyte removal. In this study, one particular lagoon wastewater treatment system (named Municipality A Wastewater Treatment Plant) is investigated due to noncompliance with governmental standards provided by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Samples were collected by researchers at 4 different instances inside of the treatment systems. These samples were sent to an analytical laboratory for testing. The readings from these samples were used to diagnose the problem occurring within the system that is causing the noncompliance with governmental standards. It was determined that an excess of biological nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, was allowing for the development of harmful algal blooms in the long-term facultative lagoon. These blooms were causing a significant increase in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total suspended solids (TSS) along with their percentage removal efficiencies. BOD, TSS, and their removal efficiencies are all regularly monitored by the NPDES and as such are cause for concern when the regulations are not met. When comparing with other lagoon systems in the state of Kentucky, this seemed like a common occurrence. Most other lagoon treatment systems were experiencing violations or noncompliance in the same analytes as MAWWTP. It was recommended that the wastewater treatment operators add coagulants such as lime, metal salts, or other precipitates. These coagulants are believed to react with excess phosphorus and nitrogen and significantly decrease the growth of algae in the facultative lagoon. The decrease of phosphorus and nitrogen supply should eliminate harmful algal colonies and allow the BOD and TSS levels to return to acceptable levels.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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