Sludge's Re-Treat

by Vernon Earl Hodge, P.E., (M.ASCE), Former Asst. City Engr.; Water & Sewerage for Shreveport, LA and current City Engr. for Brownsville, Texas,
Lyn B. Irish, Jr., P.E., Pres.; Irish Envir. Group, L.L.C., Shreveport,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 11, Pg. 56-58

Document Type: Feature article


The Shreveport, La., water treatment plant was losing up to 25% of the water it pumped into filter backwashing and sludge. Demopulos & Ferguson Associates (DFA), Shreveport, designed a sludge handling and wash-water recovery system that recycles that lost water and keeps the facility from having to discharge into a local lake and bayou. Engineers recommended a method of decantering clear water from the sedimentation basin and pumping that water over the basin effluent weir during basin maintenance. Belt filter presses produce a reduced-alum sludge cake from the settled sludge. Designers also renovated an abandoned clearwell to test the feasibility of recycling filter backwash. The benefits include an estimated 10% reduction in the annual pumping of raw lake water, regaining about 20 million gallons of settled water each year, upgrading aged and potentially dangerous high-service piping, and the transformation of a waste sludge into a beneficial material.

Subject Headings: Sludge

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