Oxidation Ponds are also known as stabilization ponds or lagoons. They are used for simple secondary treatment of sewage effluents. Within an oxidation pond heterotrophic bacteria degrade organic matter in the sewage which results in production of cellular material and minerals.
The production of these supports the growth of algae in the oxidation pond. Growth of algal populations allows further decomposition of the organic matter by producing oxygen. The production of this oxygen replenishes the oxygen used by the heterotrophic bacteria. Typically oxidation ponds need to be less than 10 feet deep in order to support the algal growth.
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In addition, the use of oxidation ponds is largely restricted to warmer climate regions because they are strongly influenced by seasonal temperature changes. Oxidation ponds also tend to fill, due to the settling of the bacterial and algal cells formed during the decomposition of the sewage.
Overall, oxidation ponds tend to be inefficient and require large holding capacities and long retention times. The degradation is relatively slow and the effluents containing the oxidized products need to be periodically removed from the ponds. An oxidation pond can be seen in the figure below.
Fig.: Oxidation Pond
In summary, from all that have been discussed, one can conclude that secondary treatment of waste-water involves the whole of tricking filters, rotating biological discs, activated sludge and oxidation pond processes.
All are aimed at improving the quality of waste-water be discharging same into the sea or on the land. Whereas most of them employ biological principles in their mechanism of operation, some employ physical processes intermittently as the processes continue.
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