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What Is A Wastewater Treatment System and How Does it Work?

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Water is an invaluable commodity not only for humans but for all living beings, but it is imperative to treat and clean the water we discharge after our uses. Wastewater treatment provides a viable solution for preventing pollutants from entering water bodies, such as streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans. 

Water, which originates as waste from agricultural, domestic, transport, industrial, or medical sources, comes under the category of wastewater. The water will experience a degradation of quality, temperature or composition as a result of its usage. 

A certain degree of treatment is mandatory for making wastewater suitable for use in both irrigation and aquaculture. The wastewater contains chemicals, bacteria, and various other toxins that will harm the environment without proper treatment. 

Treating the effluent water by using a wastewater treatment will eliminate the toxins and contaminants present in the water, making it safe for discharge. Wastewater is a prevalent waste product of the modern lifestyle which is unfit for consumption or use by humankind or other living beings. 

Without wastewater treatment, the toxic water may end up contaminating the drinking water supply, thus increasing the chances of illnesses and transmission of diseases. This article lets you get to know everything about wastewater treatment and how do they work. 

What Is A Wastewater Treatment System?

The procedure involving the removal of contaminants and waste from effluent water so that it is safely dischargeable into the natural environment is wastewater treatment. The objective of wastewater treatment is to negate the adverse effects of wastewater on our health and environment. 

Wastewater treatment utilizes several technologies in synergy to clean and purify the wastewater. The engineering of the treatment system can accommodate the fluctuations in the flow and contamination levels.

Wastewater treatment plants are of two categories biological treatment plant and chemical wastewater treatment plant. In a biological wastewater treatment plant, the breakdown of the waste matter in the water is by using natural means. 

The treatment of wastewater emanating from business premises and households with the aid of biological treatment is optimal. Since the wastewater from domestic sources contains more biological waste than chemical toxins, biological wastewater treatment is preferable.

Whereas in a chemical wastewater treatment plant, the treatment of wastewater is by using a combination of physical and chemical processes. The ideal use of chemical wastewater treatment plants is for the treatment of industrial effluents emanating from manufacturing facilities and factories. 

The wastewater from industrial sources largely contains chemical toxins that can severely harm the environment and requires treatment by the use of neutralizing chemicals. Wastewater treatment plants typically remove toxins such as suspended solids, pathogens, metals, biochemical oxygen demand, synthetic chemicals, nitrogen, and phosphates. 

How Does A Wastewater Treatment System Work?

Wastewater treatment plants use a synergy of several processes for removing the different varieties of toxins from the wastewater. Here are the steps that take place in a typical wastewater treatment system.

1. Pre-treatment Procedure

The first step in cleaning wastewater is the removal of the larger particles in the water, such as twigs, plastic bottles, cans, diapers, leaves, rags, garbage, and several other materials. For this purpose, the wastewater treatment plants make use of a series of screens with meshes for collecting the waste materials. 

Wastewater treatment plants also use grit chambers and equalization basins, which provide the control of the inflow of water. These types of equipment allow the sand, glass, and stones to settle at the bottom of the basin. 

Wastewater plants may also use an air blower to whip and froth the oily material in the water, which allo

2. Primary Treatment

The primary treatment involves the use of big sedimentation tanks and basins that acts as a primary clarifier for allowing gravity to act on smaller particles in the water to settle down. The collection of solid matter which collects at the bottom is with the aid of mechanical scrapers. 

3. Secondary Treatment

The secondary phase of the wastewater treatment involves agitating the wastewater by pumping air into it and introducing microorganisms that decompose organic waste. Pumping of air into wastewater creates an oxygen-rich environment that encourages the growth of microorganisms. 

4. Tertiary Treatment

The third phase of wastewater treatment involves the treatment of the sludge, which forms as a resultant of the secondary stage. The majority of sludge settles by the action of gravity, and the remaining part travels to the thickener in which centrifugal forces act on the wastewater. 

Anaerobic bacteria in digesting tanks produce methane from decomposing the organic waste and also produce a solid sludge. The methane is usable power generation and the solid sludge is an excellent fertilizer. The resultant water is suitable for irrigation and release into the environment or can undergo further treatment for human water supply.The dissolved air flotation systems at bioprocessH2O is capable of performing both the primary and secondary treatment of wastewater.It also provides the advantage of requiring minimum maintenance, easy operation, and cost-effectiveness. 

Conclusion

Frequent occurrences of wastewater in domestic usage originates from rainwater runoff, washing, bathing, and toilet use. According to the International Water Association, around 80% of wastewater ends up in the waterways around the world, causing health problems and issues on the climate and the environment. 

The constant push towards urbanization all over the world aggravates the problem further due to the continuously rising wastewater emissions. Besides, posing a significant health risk for human beings, discharging wastewater without treatment causes eutrophication of water sources.

Untreated wastewater also contributes considerably to the emission of greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. In an urban environment, the availability of a proper sewer system and wastewater management is critical for preventing the outbreak of diseases and improving sanitation.

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