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The Sludge Gun: Providing Sludge Blanket Level Data for Increased Control

Posted: Monday 20th June 2016

The Sludge Gun, from Markland Specialty Engineering Ltd., measures sludge blanket interface levels in clarifiers, settlement tanks, sedimentation basins, lagoons and ponds, and helps provide valuable sludge level profiles. This handheld portable detector allows users to monitor sludge bed depth for regulatory compliance and prevention of carryover, and to eliminate unnecessary pumping or dredging. It uses high-intensity infrared light to detect silt/sludge densities ranging from light flocs to thick blankets.

A trigger switch is located on the handle of the Sludge Gun.When this switch is depressed, a beam of high-intensity infrared light shines across a gap in the probe to a matching phototransistor sensor.When the LED beam encounters suspended particles in the probe gap, some of its energy is absorbed, causing the phototransistor to activate a rear-facing speaker on the butt of the gun.As the percentage of suspended solids increases, the audible tone changes in both pitch and volume.

The operator lowers the probe into the tank or pond and, by slowly moving it up and down, observes the numbered depth markers on the cable to establish the location of both the true settled bed and the overlying unsettled cloud layer. A thumb-adjustable control allows the user to fine-tune the instrument's sensitivity. In addition, features are uniquely suited for specific applications.For example, high-power Model 10-HP excels at finding the level of sludge or bio-solids in murky lagoons; Model 10-LP detects clear liquid surfaces.

The spring-loaded trigger turns off the gun, preventing accidental drain on the battery.The cable is stored on a spool at the front of the gun. Battery life (standard AA) averages one year with normal use.

The Sludge Gun is compact, rugged and weatherproof, making it ideal for use from boats and narrow catwalks. No calibration is required.

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August 2021

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