A lagoon septic system is a small pond that receives wastewater for storage and treatment. The size is determined by the number of bedrooms in a home and the lagoon is three to five feet in depth. Through a biological process, the lagoon works to treat domestic sewage. Today, we at Randall’s Plumbing would like to further elaborate on lagoons and septic tank health.
How Does a Lagoon Septic System Work?
At the bottom, the sewage from the home enters the lagoon. Sludge develops since the solids stay on the bottom. A microscopic plant that lives in the lagoon, known as algae, produces oxygen by working with carbon dioxide and sunlight. To digest the sewage, other microorganisms use this oxygen. For this reason, trees must be cleared around a lagoon. To make sure the lagoon gets plenty of sun and wind, the area around the lagoon should also be mowed frequently.
Sewage Lagoon Maintenance
1) Address Lagoon Sewage Odor Problems. There should be little to no odor with a properly built and maintained lagoon. There may be some odor for a few days when the lagoon turns over in the spring and fall. However, there may be another problem should the lagoon have an odor at other times. Lagoons can produce unattractive smells if lot of leaves fall into them. Tannic acid is created when the leaves begin to decompose, and this lowers the pH of the lagoon. The biological process that is treating the sewage is compromised since the algae is killed. If you experience this issue, consider trimming or cutting the trees that are causing the leaves to fall into the lagoon. To remove the odor, treat the lagoon water with 2 pounds of ammonium or sodium nitrate per day until odors are nondetectable. Also, large amount of chemicals or lack of sunlight as in extended cloudy weather can compromise the natural process in the lagoon, leading to odors.
2) Install Septic Tank. It is preferable to have a properly sized and constructed septic tank preceding the lagoon in the event the home has a garbage disposal. To reduce the fats and solids that will overload the lagoon, the tank should have at least 1000 gallons of capacity.
3) Fill Lagoon with Water. Prior to operation, the lagoon should be filled with water. To begin the biological process, no additives will be necessary. The natural bacteria from the sewage is sufficient enough.
4) How to Keep a Lagoon Clean. The lagoon banks in addition to the area surrounding the lagoon will need to be kept mowed and free of trees. Make sure it is mowed to the water’s edge to prevent tall grass from drooping into the lagoon. Otherwise, you can create an ideal place for mosquito breeding areas as well as potentially contributing to premature filling. Any trimmed or mowed debris needs to be prevented from entering the lagoon as well.
5) Avoid Shading Lagoon Surface. Help control tree roots and remove trees within 50 feet of the lagoon to keep leaf debris from entering. Especially during the winter months, clear any other vegetation or trees which shade the lagoon. Monitor for damage to the banks, particularly from wildlife activity. As needed, repair any damage immediately and reseed with grass. To minimize mosquito breeding and excess organic loading and to improve oxygen transfer, control the cattails and other vegetation including duckweed and floating algae masses from the lagoon immediately. Keep the fence in good repair so animals cannot get on the banks, to help reduce damage to the banks.