A Mechanical method of classifying the state of solid matter beneath a floating cover over an anaerobic lagoon

A Mechanical method of classifying the state of solid matter beneath a floating cover over an anaerobic lagoon

Dat Nha Bui, Thomas Kuen, Benjamin Steven Vien, L.R. Francis Rose, Wing Kong Chiu

download PDF

Abstract. The formation and accumulation of scum—a layer formed from fats, oils and greases (FOG) and solid particles in the sewage—can occur under the geomembrane of a covered anaerobic wastewater treatment lagoon. Monitoring the state of scum is important for both operational reasons in the management of a wastewater treatment plant and for physical reasons related to the structural health assessment and monitoring of the covers. This task is challenging and currently involves an inspector physically assessing the scum through various sampling ports across the membrane. Another more subjective and less expensive method is where an experienced assessor classifies the state of the scum by walking on the cover and “feeling” its response to the impact of their footsteps. The development of a new objective, rather than the current subjective, approach to assessing the state and extent of the scum under the covers is proposed. In collaboration with Melbourne Water, we investigate an in-situ mechanical method to quantitatively assess the state of this scum. In this study, the frequency response functions of the membrane-scum system of different states of scum excited using a low-energy mechanical excitation were estimated. Our findings indicate that the high-gain frequency range of the cover-scum system is higher with the scum of a harder state ranging from 30-40 Hz for soft-to-fluffy scum up to 60-80 Hz for hard scum. Our findings also indicate that the response of the cover-scum system is highly damped. Differences between different states of scum have been observed in both the gain and the phase angle of the frequency response functions. Numerically, the area under the frequency response function curves decreases with the hardness of scum. This information paves the way for the next steps of this work, including improving the accuracy in modelling the scum and developing a mechanical means to quantitatively monitor the scum formation.

Structural Health Monitoring, HDPE Membrane, Geomembrane, Floating Cover, Scum, Sewage Treatment, Wastewater Treatment, Impact Hammer, Tap Testing

Published online 3/30/2023, 8 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: Dat Nha Bui, Thomas Kuen, Benjamin Steven Vien, L.R. Francis Rose, Wing Kong Chiu, A Mechanical method of classifying the state of solid matter beneath a floating cover over an anaerobic lagoon, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 27, pp 251-258, 2023

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21741/9781644902455-32

The article was published as article 32 of the book Structural Health Monitoring

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

[1] DeGarie, C.J.; Crapper, T.; Howe, B.M.; McCarthy, P.J. Floating geomembrane covers for odour control and biogas collection and utilization in municipal lagoons. Water Science and Technology 2000, 42, 291-298. https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2000.0664
[2] Raper, W.G.; Green, J.M. Simple process for nutrient removal from food processing effluents. Water Sci Technol 2001, 43, 123-130. https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2001.0127
[3] Ronald Miner, J. Nuisance Concerns and Odor Control1. Journal of Dairy Science 1997, 80, 2667-2672. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(97)76226-X
[4] Chittenden, J.; Orsi, L.; Witherow, J.; Wells Jr, W. Control of odors from an anaerobic lagoon treating meat packing wastes. In Proceedings of Eighth National Symposium on Food Processing Wastes, US Environmental Protection Agency, Corvallis, Oregon.
[5] Dairy Australia. Anaerobic Digestion as a Treatment and Energy Recovery Technology for Dairy Processing Waste Streams; 2017.
[6] Harris, P.W.; McCabe, B.K. Process Optimisation of Anaerobic Digestion Treating High-Strength Wastewater in the Australian Red Meat Processing Industry. Applied Sciences-Basel 2020, 10. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217947
[7] Ong, W.H.; Chiu, W.K.; Kuen, T.; Kodikara, J. Determination of the State of Strain of Large Floating Covers Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Aided Photogrammetry. Sensors (Basel) 2017, 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/s17081731
[8] Wong, L.L.; Vien, B.S.; Ma, Y.; Kuen, T.; Courtney, F.; Kodikara, J.; Chiu, W.K. Remote Monitoring of Floating Covers Using UAV Photogrammetry. Remote Sensing 2020, 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12071118
[9] Paul, W. Lagoon technology at Melbourne Water’s Western Treatment Plant. In Modern Techniques in Water and Wastewater Treatment, CSIRO Publishing East Melbourne: 1995; pp. 141-148.
[10] McCabe, B.; Schmidt, T.; Harris, P. Crust Management for Optimal Anaerobic Digestion Performance at Meat Processing Facilities; National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture, University of Southern Queensland: 2017.
[11] Ma, Y.; Rose, F.; Wong, L.; Vien, B.S.; Kuen, T.; Rajic, N.; Kodikara, J.; Chiu, W.K. Thermographic Monitoring of Scum Accumulation beneath Floating Covers. Remote Sensing 2021, 13. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13234857
[12] Ma, Y.; Wong, L.L.; Vien, B.S.; Kuen, T.; Kodikara, J.; Chiu, W.K. Quasi-Active Thermal Imaging of Large Floating Covers Using Ambient Solar Energy. Remote Sensing 2020, 12, 1-19. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203455
[13] Wong, L.; Vien, B.; Ma, Y.; Kuen, T.; Courtney, F.; Kodikara, J.; Rose, F.; Chiu, W. Development of Scum Geometrical Monitoring Beneath Floating Covers Aided by UAV Photogrammetry. Materials Research Proceedings 2021, 18, 71-78.
[14] McGill, R.; Tukey, J.W.; Larsen, W.A. Variations of Box Plots. The American Statistician 1978, 32, 12-16. https://doi.org/10.2307/2683468