How Does a Lagoon Work?

A traditional lagoon system is a two part system.

A traditional system has:

  1. Plumbing from the house: pipes with clean outs that carry wastewater to the lagoon.
  2. Lagoon: shallow body of wastewater where final treatment and reintroduction of wastewater into the environment occurs.

Lagoon Materials

A lagoon must be nearly watertight.

  • NDEQ allows a maximum seepage of 1/8 inch per day. The wastewater has not been fully treated so it must be prevented from escaping into the groundwater. The hollowed out area is formed by dikes or berms of soil.
  • The bottom and sides of the lagoon are lined with a watertight material such as bentonite clay or a synthetic liner specifically made for this purpose.
  • A lagoon must be surrounded by a 4-foot high fence of either woven wire, welded wire, or 7-strand barbed wire with the first strand starting 3 inches from the ground and the following strands spaced evenly.
  • There must be a 2 X 2 ft concrete pad in the center of the lagoon directly below the opening of the outlet pipe to protect the integrity of the liner. Without the concrete pad, the force of the wastewater could erode the liner.

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