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Wastewater Treatment for Cattle, Dairy and Other Livestock Operations

Wastewater Treatment for Cattle, Dairy and Other Livestock Operations

Livestock operations wastewater lagoons sometimes have a bad reputation for odor and buildup of sludge. These negative factors can be mitigated with a properly designed and maintained system. Using proper aeration, mixing and microbial dosing can significantly reduce sludge buildup and odors associated with these lagoons.

The Challenge

Wastewater from cattle and dairy operations typically consists of high concentrations of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and fats, oils and greases (FOG). Lagoons use biological treatment to lower these concentrations prior to discharging them. In order to accomplish the treatment needed, the organisms that perform the biological treatment require an environment that is high in dissolved oxygen (DO) in the lagoon.

The portion of pollutants do not get digested in the biological process, become sludge and either floats on the surface or sinks to the bottom. When sludge builds up on the bottom, portions of it get cut off from oxygen in the water and the environment in the lagoon becomes anaerobic. When anaerobic conditions occur, different gasses are given off and they produce odor.

Here is a cabinet set into place with the air tubing installed.

First Solution: Aeration

Products: Kasco Marine Surface AeratorsProLake™ Diffused Aeration Systems,   ProLake™ Solar Powered Diffused Aeration Systems

If the goal is increasing the DO in the lagoon, the obvious thing to do is add air. Aeration systems typically fall into two categories: surface and subsurface or “bottom-up”. Surface aeration systems mix the top levels of the lagoon with the air above the surface. This can increase to DO levels in the shallower depths of the lagoon quickly. Subsurface or “bottom-up” aeration systems consist of fine bubble diffusers installed on the bottom of the lagoon that inject the air into the water. Subsurface aeration systems offer the advantage that they increase DO levels at all depths. Typically, the maximum depth for a surface system is 6ft which is also around the minimum depth for a subsurface system.

We offer aeration systems by ProLake™ which utilize Laminar flow technology. This technology allows us to offer you a system that provides the oxygen transfer of fine bubble diffusers and the mixing action of coarse bubble diffusers.

Second Solution: Mixing

Products: Kasco Marine Circulators

One of the often-overlooked solutions for lagoons is proper mixing. Mixing performs an important role by keeping solids in suspension which increases the efficiency of the biological treatment process. The other important thing mixing accomplishes is the elimination of low DO zones and creating a consistent environment throughout the lagoon. While aeration systems are great at increasing DO levels where the diffuser or surface aerator is, mixers will move that oxygen all around the lagoon and ensure the maximum amount of water comes into direct contact with the aeration system. Its like using a central heating system in a home versus a fireplace.

Making sure you lagoon is properly mixed will maximize the effectiveness of your aeration system and biological treatment process. We carry circulators by Kasco Marine that can be float or dock mounted to thoughly mix you lagoon.

Waste Sludge Reducer wastewater lagoon bio-enzymes and septic system bio-enzymes bags ready to add to pond

Third solution: Dosing with Microbes

Products: ProLake™ Pond & Lake Clarifier,ProLake™ Muck Eliminator,ProLake™Muck Eliminator Tabs,   ProLake™ Cold Water Clarifier

Lagoons require a healthy population of microorganisms or “microbes” to perform a thorough job of digesting the pollutants in the wastewater. Air and mixing will go a long way toward supporting this population. Sometimes however, dosing the lagoon with a supplemental population of microbes can help boost the treatment levels of a lagoon. This can be especially helpful during the initial stages of a renovation of an existing lagoon or with a brand-new lagoon. Periodical dosing with microbes in a lagoon in regular operation can maintain optimal treatment efficiency and help lower the amount of sludge building up on the bottom. Microbes even come in a pellet form that sink to the bottom and target sludge on the bottom of lagoons and ponds.

We offer bio-enzymes and microbes by ProLake™ which are formulated specifically for wastewater lagoons and ponds. We can custom tailor a dosage regimen to allow you to bring your lagoon back to a healthy state!


Improving wastewater treatment for cattle, dairy and other livestock operations boils down to having and maintaining a healthy population of organisms that perform the treatment. By increasing DO levels, mixing the contents of the lagoon and dosing with additional healthy microbes, you can avoid many of the common issues facing farms, ranches, and meat processing operations lagoon systems.

Let us help you!

At Clear Water Supply, we offer a full line of solutions by ProLake™. These solutions are custom tailored for wastewater lagoon and pond operators and owners to solve their algae control problems. We are not out to just sell product. We want to develop relationships and work with each of our clients to make sure they have exactly what they need to solve their current problems and avoid future ones.

Click here to see our ProLake™ solutions for wastewater lagoons!

Click here to see our selection of bio-enzymes and microbes to digest sludge and boost the effectiveness of your lagoon or pond treatment process!

Call us today to see what we can do for your lagoon or pond!

If you can’t find what you are looking for, contact us at (303) 520-4961 or and we’ll help you find it.