Since there is no discharge from the system,
there is no need for testing the pond effluent. All
bodies of surface water and all wells in the area
should be tested often to see if they have been
polluted by the pond. Too many suspended solids
discharged to the pond will stop up the unit. A
suspended solids test must be performed daily (or
at least very often) to find out if the treatment
plant units are working well or if operative con-
trols need to be changed. The ponds should be
checked each day. Any changes in the way the
plant looks or smells or any changes from
normal operation need to be checked out.
Laboratory tests may help find the problem and
suggest ways of correcting it.
Table 10-13 describes some problems and solu-
tions for these problems with wastewater effluent.
Refer to manufacturers manuals for more
specific troubleshooting and operating guides for
various types of treatment plants. Effluent quality
usually depends on the operation and maintenance
of upstream process units.
Odors and unsightly conditions are the most
common subjects of complaints. Toxic wastes and
wastes with high fecal coliform count are more
dangerous but are more difficult to detect.
Therefore, fewer complaints are made regarding
these two hazards.
Complaints must be received with courtesy
and investigated at once to see if the complaint
is valid. Be sure to inform the complaining
person(s) as to your findings, what can be done
or what is being done to remedy the problem. A
careful investigation may show that the source of
the problem is not related to the wastewater treat-
If the treatment plant is the source of the
problem, use all available operating controls to
obtain maximum plant efficiency. Notify desig-
nated regulatory officials at once as to the nature
of the problem. If the solution to the problem
appears to be beyond operator control, request
advice and/or assistance.
Table 10-13.Troubleshooting Effluent Disposal
ACTIONS TO TAKE
Effluent BOD or
1. Organic overload.
COD too high.
2. Septic conditions in
plant units and the col-
3. Not enough aeration.
able solids con-
tent too high.
1. Hydraulic overload.
2. Sludge collection and
removal equiment not
1. Control organic loading by sewer use regula-
tions. Improve plant upkeep. Use all available
2. Check sludge pumping schedule for proper
removal. Inspect pumps to see if they are
working. Inspect sludge pipes and valves for
clogging, check for sludge deposits (pockets)
that are not being pumped out of the clari-
fiers. Inspect all plant units whether
primary or secondary for proper operation.
Refer to manufacturers instructions for
process information. Inspect the collection
system, including lift stations, for septic
3. Maintain the recommended DO level in all
aerated units usually about 2 mg/1. Inspect
air diffusers for even distribution of air and
Try to control hydraulic loading by main-
taining the collection system. Install holding
ponds or tanks to handle peak load. Check
on wastewater flow rate often to see if plant
capacity is exceeded, Inspect settling tanks for
short circuiting (channeling).