Settling pond at Western Kraft Corp., Albany, Ore., was formerly cleaned by dragline and sludge was hauled to a disposal site. This method often necessitated the removal and replacement of a divider wall which create a U-shaped path and doubled settling distance to 900 ft. The wall makes handling of effluent from the 800 ton/day corrugated and linerboard mill more efficient. Since the pond could not be drained without shutting down the mill, a more flexible sludge removal method was needed.
Barge with suspended auger was employed to cut path through sludge. A pump sucked up sludge and delivered it by portable pipeline to a disposal field 1/4mile away. (System designed and built by the Mud Cat Division of Mud Cat International.)
Self-contained system is powered by a heavily muffled 175-hp diesel engine. System is delivered by truck to the site along with quick-coupling pipe. Regional contractors furnish all equipment and personnel needed on a contract basis.
The patented auger operates from a moving boom, cutting an 8-ft wide, 18-in deep swath with each pass. Auger can clean sludge to a depth of 10-1/2 ft., if required.
For ecology protection, a special mudshield traps material as it is cut. Pump suction takes it away with minimum turbidity and disturbance.
With the flotation/hydraulic method, sludge removal costs per yard of material deposited in pond were higher or sometimes equal to drag-line cleaning. The advantage provided by the floating sludge remover, however, was a more convenient means of cleaning the pond. It has required less supervision by plant engineers and also resulted in an extremely clean pond, accomplished more efficiently. The dividing wall did not have to be replaced when the floating sludge remover was used.
Mud Cat Div of Mud Cat International