Seasonal limitation to liquid land application of digested sludge and increasing fuel costs for transporting liquid waste have caused numerous problems for Wastewater Treatment (WWT) Plants across the country. Flo Trend® Systems of Houston, Texas, offers solutions to these problems with a low maintenance, low cost Sludge Mate® that will dewater sludge to a level suitable for mechanical broadcast spreading.
The Guadalupe Blanco River Authority (GBRA) spent two years accessing the cost of removing digested sludge from their WWT Plants. In the past, all solids were removed wet by vacuum trucks and transported to a private grass farm for land application. During the wet season, the grass fields were off limits for liquid applying. In addition to difficulties with handling and distribution, fuel costs continued to rise.
After reviewing several options, GBRA elected to choose the Sludge Mate — a particular type of container filter. The biosolids are pumped directly through Flo Trend Systems Poly-Mate Mixing and Injection System to flocculate the waste. The Poly-Mate incorporates Flo Trend’s patented Mix-Mate that produces uniform flocculation of the sludge. Once the material is flocculated, it passes directly into the Sludge Mate. In less than 24 hours, the dewatered sludge is suitable for transporting and spreading. The discharge water drains back to the headworks of the plant or to the digester. After the sludge meets the paint filter test, the Sludge Mate is transported to contracted grass fields. The sludge is now mechanically spread using a manure spreader.
GBRA currently uses four 30-cubic-yard Sludge Mates at four WWT Plants near Seguin and New Braunfels, Texas. In less than two months of use, the Sludge Mates has significantly reduced the total suspended solids in the aeration basins. During this period, the total concentration of solids was reduced from 9,800 mg/L to 4,600 mg/L. Due to the volume reduction achieved by the Sludge Mates, transportation costs have greatly decreased; now solids are being hauled, not water.
The Sludge Mates also eliminate problems caused by wet weather field conditions; because they are enclosed, they can operate in rain or shine.