Hydro MicroScreen™ helps South Carolina paper packaging manufacturer cut lagoon maintenance costs

Hydro MicroScreen™ captures 441% more solids than existing technology for this South Carolina paper packaging manufacturer - allowing the plant to go 2-3 times longer before needing to dredge their lagoon. 

Project Details

A South Carolina packaging producer was facing challenging solids loading conditions in their wastewater treatment lagoon. The mill produces with 80% recycled content and 20% raw content. The lagoon required increasingly frequent dredging to remove accumulated solids. The plant had a drum screen system that was capturing less than a quarter of the amount of materials it was supposed to be removing. On-site measurements revealed that the drum screen was removing only 22% of the suspended solids that were sent to it.

The failure of the existing technology to capture material effectively was allowing all these solids to flow through to their treatment lagoon. These excessive suspended solids loads were continually eroding the lagoon’s treatment capacity until the plant had to shut it down to dredge out the solids as sludge. Dredging the lagoon was an expensive, time consuming and difficult task that also required excess capacity to take the lagoon offline to clean.

The plant was looking for a solution that would extend the time between expensive dredging operations and allow them to reuse screened effluent water. 


The plant contacted Hydro International to arrange a demonstration of the Hydro MicroScreen™ sedimentation and clarification solution. They wanted to evaluate the technology and compare it to their old drum screen system at their plant on the same flows and under the same operating conditions.

The Hydro MicroScreen™ system was placed downstream of their bar screen and run in parallel with the drum screen. During testing one third of the bar screen effluent was sent to the Hydro MicroScreen™ with the remaining two thirds of the flow sent to the old drum screen system.     


The Hydro MicroScreen™ system captured 441% more solids (Total Suspended Solids) than the drum screen, with output that was three times drier (Total Solids). The Hydro MicroScreen™ removed an additional 0.74 tons of materials than the drum screen every day.

It is estimated that Hydro MicroScreen™ performance reduces the frequency of lagoon dredging by between 50% and 66%. 

Additionally the plant is now able to reuse effluent water from the Hydro MicroScreen™ at many locations throughout their mill.

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