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The Aquarator

A brand new aeration invention! 

The Aquarator is an advanced pond aeration and mixing system. Invented, designed and built in New Zealand, by New Zealanders specifically for New Zealand pond conditions. The Aquarator represents a new benchmark in mixing and aeration capability. The units are easily transportable, easily handled, uniquely robust and suitable for any ponding system.

 

Unique Features

The Aquarator is not just an aerator, it is also a most effective mixing system capable of producing even circulation within a pond while delivering large amounts of dissolved oxygen (DO) with very small energy requirement (4.0 - 6.2 kW). Compared to any mechanical mixer or aeration system; cage aerators, paddle wheels, vertical vortex machines or any impeller system the Aquarator is more efficient, less CAPEX intensive, lower OPEX has little to no maintenance.

 

  • All service requirements are land-based and easily accessible.

  • No electrical waterproofing on the aerator. No power supply or cabling in the water.

  • The aerators are solid state devices requiring no maintenance - no mechanical moving parts in or on the water.

  • Fully Submersible with no adverse effects or damage to the unit.

  • The Aquarator is not top heavy and will not tilt – it has a unique system of adjustable ballast which keeps it very stable in the water.

  • Little or no maintenance for 5 years.

 

Advantages over competitors

Over many years pond based waste treatment systems have remained relatively standard. Primarily pond based systems have been used as solids settling devices and for the degradation of ammonia to nitrogen products with the eventual disbursement of “treated” effluent back into the environment. The majority of lagoons are designed to be aerobic. Ponds do their initial work as a waste containment and stabilisation process, collecting effluent from processing facilities, sewer networks, animal feed pads and milking sheds. Intensification of farming practices and expanding township populations means many systems are increasingly found to be under capacity and often being required to perform at a level of treatment exceeding original design criteria. Increasing influent volumes causes excess sludge build-up significantly reducing the effective treatment volume available.

 

Cumulative factors reduce and degrade treatment effectiveness over time.

  1. Solids accumulation, particularly near inlet works, act as sludge banks and barriers.

  2. Short-circuiting is a common cause of breach in compliance (In one case we found the effective effluent treatment time of 42 days had been reduced to less than 31 minutes).

  3. Poor mixing caused by inadequate water movement contributes to inadequate aeration and seasonal turnover.

  4. A pond treatment system unable to meet consent through increased influent load is a burden to both the community financially and the environment being unable to perform required solids and nitrogen removal. The general call is for such systems to be expanded at considerable capital cost.

 

Sludge buildup in ponding systems greatly reduces the effective treatment volume available, is expensive to remove and contributes significantly to process breaches in consent and process failure.

 

Aquarator systems as mixers

The Aquarator prevents the buildup of “sludge bergs” mitigating the development of short-circuiting pathways. The increased oxygen injection capability mitigates hydrogen sulphide odours and helps to prevent algal blooms.

The Aquarator is both an aeration and mixing device. Maintaining constant mixing within the water column keeps as much sludge as possible in suspension while providing dissolved oxygen to degrade ammonia and enhancing the release of nitrogen to the atmosphere.

 

The aeration system provides dissolved oxygen to aerobic bacteria in sediments and the water column while also mixing the entire aeration basin.

The design features of the Aquarator are unique; no paddles, shafts, cages, mechanical or electric devices on the water. No electrical cables in the water. The Aquarator can float as a tethered unit in the centre of a pond or fixed to a bank.

Aquarator 2.0 provides a valuable cost-effective waste treatment tool to both the municipal and primary production sector. Milk and dairy products, wool, beef and lamb are New Zealand’s economic staples. The wastewater lagoon has been used extensively in this country, at municipal and agricultural levels.

The Aquarator assists a ponding system to perform well at times exceeding the originally intended design capacity by providing an efficient mixing action of large volumes of water. The micro bubble residence time produced by the diffuser action allows for increased dissolved oxygen within the water column.

Aquarator operates on a fine and coarse bubble diffuser system generating a venturi force flow that provides superior mixing capability. Continuous water movement flattens the sludge into a blanket. The activation of sludge produced by this activity increases the treatment capacity and effective life of the pond.

 

The Aquarator mixing and aeration system will deliver:

  • Better overall water quality.

  • Constantly moving water - assisting in the elimination of anoxic conditions in pond sludge.

  • Continuous oxidation capability by providing dissolved oxygen at a controlled rate.

  • Significant energy savings.

  • Water movement of 1400 – 2400 m3/hr (depending on depth of pond) at a velocity of 1.46 m/s (14.6M USG/Day).

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Aquarator blowers are constructed with a weatherproof cast aluminium housing. The blower motors are three-phase however, single phase units are available. The blowers carry a 2 year warranty.

The Aquarator diffusers are a patented design of HDPE and EPDM, resistant to chemicals and robust in construction.

The diffusers have a 1 year Aqua Infrastructure warranty.

 

Maintenance

The units are essentially maintenance free for 5 years. Notwithstanding that the blower inlet filters under normal conditions should be serviced annually and membrane diffusers may need cleaning annually.

 

Features
  • 6.2Kw/hr at maximum energy use.

  • No propellers, impellers or shafts - no moving parts in or on the water.

  • No belts or gearboxes requiring maintenance.

  • Built from non-corrosive materials – HDPE and EPDM diffusers, cast aluminium blower casings, stainless steel fittings, Aquarator body is HDPE.

 

Benefits
  • Continuous water turnover eliminating stratification throughout the pond - continuous mixing eliminates algal stratification, particularly with toxic blue-green species

  • Provides movement in pond sludge over a wide area assisting with sludge turnover and consequential continual degradation by natural bacteria.

  • Delivers more dissolved oxygen to the water.

  • Lowers energy costs per Kg of DO Delivered.

  • Inlet filter cleanout

  • Practically maintenance free for years.

  • Eliminates trapped nitrogen and ammonia gases, and improves BOD/COD counts.

 

Advantages over other pond aeration systems
  • Less energy usage per unit of waste treated - provision of DO at a rate of 1.5 Kg/kW.

  • Water movement of 1400 – 2400 m3/hr (depending on depth of pond) at a velocity of 1.46 m/s (14.6M USG/Day).

  • No motor maintenance other than simple inlet filter cleanout.
    An end of life the blowers are simply replaced (current replacement cost is equivalent to 2 cups of coffee per week over the life of the blower).

 

The Aquarator mixing & aeration system is uniquely designed for function overpower providing the ability to rehabilitate large waste pond systems through cost-effective natural sludge breakdown and utilising minimal energy to provide aeration throughout the entire water column.

 

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