A Concrete Cure: Repairing a Deteriorated Lagoon System

A flexible epoxy liner restores the deteriorated bottom of a wastewater treatment lagoon at a food manufacturing facility in Georgia.
A Concrete Cure: Repairing a Deteriorated Lagoon System
A primer coating is applied to the basin before the liner is sprayed on.

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Effective aeration is critical to any industrial wastewater lagoon system. Insufficient oxygen and equipment failures may lead to violations and fines, disruption of production, and exceedance of the operation and maintenance budgets, significantly affecting the bottom line.

A wastewater lagoon system at a large food manufacturing facility in Perry, Georgia, was in a state of deterioration. The 500-foot-long, 200-foot-wide, 26-foot-deep pond was constructed of poured concrete that had cracked and no longer provided adequate containment. The pond needed a repair that involved completely sealing and waterproofing the concrete bottom.

Challenging prep

Southern Industrial Linings, an authorized Rhino Linings applicator, was contracted for the job. The company selected Rhino Linings Extreme HP 11-50, an industrial lining designed for difficult application conditions. It is formulated to perform well in indoor and outdoor settings, high humidity and low temperatures, and areas in contact with food or where sanitation is paramount.

The material has high chemical and corrosion resistance and has elastomeric properties that protect against damage caused by substrate vibration, expansion, contraction, movement, flexing, abrasion and impact. In this case, those properties would allow the concrete basin bottom to flex without sacrificing the lining.

To prepare for application, the applicator drained the pond and removed a few feet of silt that had settled in the basin bottom. The amount of silt was more than the applicator anticipated, and removal was limited to pumping because of existing disposal permits.

Once the silt was removed, the entire basin was pressure washed and then scarified. This process of deeply scraping the concrete removed the surface layer that was contaminated with vegetable oil and sticky residue built up over the years.

Seamless application

To repair the existing cracks, holes were drilled at either end of each crack to remove pressure and stop the progression. Each crack was abrasively blasted to remove debris.

The applicator then blasted the entire basin to lower the surface profile, creating a smoother surface. This preparation process, covering 115,000 square feet, took two weeks from the time the basin was drained and cleared of silt.

To ensure that the lining application was completed as specified, the applicator sectioned the pond into 1,200-square-foot sections to better monitor quality and the applied film thickness. To prepare this surface, the applicator chose Primer 101 — a 1-1 ratio, two-component, zero-VOC epoxy primer.

The primer’s low viscosity allows easy application by brush or roller. It has high moisture tolerance, flexibility for substrates that may expand and contract, and a long overcoat window for subsequent coatings. The primer was spray-applied and broadcast with coal slag before it cured to improve adhesion with the final lining material.

Finally, the applicator spray-applied an entire 110-gallon set of the sealer in multiple overlapping passes to each 1,200-square-foot section, at a minimum thickness of 125 mils. This created a seamless, monolithic coating that met the food manufacturing facility’s specifications.

Life extended

The extended silt-removal process delayed the project late into autumn, and the applicator had to contend with less-than-desirable weather and shorter days. Even with these difficulties, the entire application was completed in just over two months by a team of six to 10 workers, depending on the step in the process.

The customer reports satisfaction with how well the lining has performed. Ultimately, the application was an effective solution for repair of the failing concrete basin. The seamless containment lining is expected to significantly increase the life of the aeration pond.


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