Bob wrote:Good questions, David.
I think I'd be inclined to just let it keep going as is for a while longer, and wait to see if it clears up as the sludge blanket grows and biological populations mature.
Yes figured as much.
Assuming that the solids in the 3rd tank are settleable -- i.e. not in colloidal suspension, I would think that over time, the surge pump in the 3rd tank should return them to the bottom of the 2nd tank.
I don't think that will happen as the 20L trickle filter contains "aquarium wool" which is catching the larger suspended solids in solution, I suspect I'll have to clean it soon the rate of water flow through it has slowed quite a bit, I now have a continuous puddle on the surface all time now.
What kind of flow rate are you getting from the bottom of the 3rd tank to the trickle filter? Would it be possible to increase this? i.e. by turning up the airflow to the pump?
Um, no the geyser/big bubble pump is flowing about 3-4 litres a minute, I slowed down the surge tank pump slightly as it was really pushing the water through quite quickly reduced it back to an average of approx 120 litres per hour. it was running much faster than that about 4 litres per minute.
From your description, it sounds like the scum layer in the 2nd tank is comprised of settleable solids that are heavier than water, but that had been floated to the surface with rising bubbles (of biogas?). I'd be curious to know what the pH is.
possible. Also, a lot of bacteria as well I suspect, the scum is just under the surface, oh and clings to the sides and anything else it can as it would
, of the (2)tank.
The (3)tank also has similar but to lesser extent and less in solution solids as well. Again I suspect as a result of "start-up" and having no active sludge layer at all to start off with.
We don't use "poisonous" cleaning products anymore and haven't for sometime, all our cleaning, shampoo, soap, etc products are labelled as being "eco or grey-water friendly" and are supposed to be derived from natural renewable materials. Pity I can't say the same for the containers
.They are mostly plastic at least they are capable of being recycled.
The PH I have not tested it yet.
I should say though that water that exits the system is considerably cleaner than it started in the surge tank so from that point of view it is working OK.
A slight odor is still present after the water exists the (3)tank but it is only about 5% of what it was in the surge tank and the water is fairly clear about 80% compared to what it is in the surge tank. So from that point of view it's working
, I suspect time will help to improve this further.
I'm running the water that exits through another small tank which I'm using to see what "settles out" at the moment. There are micro solids still settling out so this shows that things still need to progress further still.
The tanks I used are about twice the size of the ones you used. At the current water levels in them they each hold about 400 Litres of water the surge tank can get to just under 500 litres of water at a pinch. When I was testing things, I found that the surge tank pump at the current setting for the air flow it averages 120-130 litres per hour provided of course there is water to move.
That of course works out at lots (1000's) of litres per day. not required but it can
which is kind or cool.
With the tanks that I used the cost would be a bit more, about AU$600-$700. This is still fairly inexpensive really.
I have a few people here that have suddenly become interested in my version of this and have expressed an interest in doing something similar, once mine is finished, particularly for some the rural areas where I know a few people, time will tell how these will go.
By the way, the current air pump I use consumes more power than the one you mentioned/used, what I could not figure out is how much air yours pumped in litres per minute or similar, that would have helped a lot.
The air pump, I'm using is able to pump 85 litres of air p/m. I'm using long 4mm black flexible tube used water dripper systems costs about 1/3 of the clear tube UV stabilised as well, each tube is approx 8 metres long, the air pump is inside out if the weather, one spin-off benefit of having long tubes is that the air pulsing has been smoothed out into the pumps the long tubes take the pulsing out which makes the system quite a bit quieter.