Sludge Surveys play an important role in managing lagoons. Sludge Surveys are used to measure the amount of sludge buildup in a lagoon system. This is a good way to know how much sludge inventory you currently have. Based on the results, you can estimate the amount of sludge you have on hand. You can also estimate how long you have until you need to remove sludge from the lagoon. The results can also determine the amount of retention time you have or have lost due to sludge buildup. While conducting a Sludge Survey you can collect samples that can be tested for VSS (Volatile Suspended Solids). This test will tell you what percentage of the sludge is organic (biodegradable) or inert (non-biodegradable). Organics can still be reduced by using bioaugmentation.
Sludge Surveys are not very difficult to conduct, but it does take years of experience to know how to read and use a Sludge Judge properly. I have witnessed on many occasions the equipment used was not properly read or properly used to get the best results. If you’re going to go through all the trouble, expense and man hours to conduct a Sludge Survey, why not take the time to right the first time.