Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-11-17 Origin: Site
Wastewater is not just sewage. All the water used in the home that goes down the drains or into the sewage collection system is wastewater. This includes water from baths, showers, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets. Small businesses and industries often contribute large amounts of wastewater to sewage collection systems; others operate their own wastewater treatment systems. In combined municipal sewage systems, water from storm drains is also added to the municipal wastewater stream. The average American contributes 265-568 liters (66 to 192 gallons) of wastewater each day. Wastewater is about 99 percent water by weight and is generally referred to as influent as it enters the wastewater treatment facility. “Domestic wastewater” is wastewater that comes primarily from individuals, and does not generally include industrial or agricultural wastewater.
At wastewater treatment plants, this flow is treated before it is allowed to be returned to the environment, lakes, or streams. There are no holidays for wastewater treatment, and most plants operate 24 hours per day every day of the week. Wastewater treatment plants operate at a critical point of the water cycle, helping nature defend water from excessive pollution. Most treatment plants have primary treatment (physical removal of floatable and settleable solids) and secondary treatment (the biological removal of dissolved solids).
1. Screening-to remove large objects, such as stones or sticks, that could plug lines or block tank inlets.
2. Grit chamber-slows down the flow to allow grit to fall out
3. Sedimentation tank (settling tank or clarifier)- settleable solids settle out and are pumped away, while oils float to the top and are skimmed off.
Secondary treatment typically utilizes biological treatment processes, in which microorganisms convert nonsettleable solids to settleable solids. Sedimentation typically follows, allowing the settleable solids to settle out.
1. Activated Sludge-The most common option uses microorganisms in the treatment process to break down organic material with aeration and agitation, then allows solids to settle out. Bacteria-containing “activated sludge” is continually recirculated back to the aeration basin to increase the rate of organic decomposition.
2. Trickling Filters- These are beds of coarse media (often stones or plastic) 3-10 ft. deep. Wastewater is sprayed into the air (aeration), then allowed to trickle through the media. Microorganisms, attached to and growing on the media, break down organic material in the wastewater. Trickling filters drain at the bottom; the wastewater is collected and then undergoes sedimentation.
3. Lagoons- These are slow, cheap, and relatively inefficient, but can be used for various types of wastewater. They rely on the interaction of sunlight, algae, microorganisms, and oxygen (sometimes aerated).
After primary and secondary treatment, municipal wastewater is usually disinfected using chlorine (or other disinfecting compounds, or occasionally ozone or ultraviolet light). An increasing number of wastewater facilities also employ tertiary treatment, often using advanced treatment methods. Tertiary treatment may include processes to remove nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and carbon adsorption to remove chemicals. These processes can be physical, biological, or chemical.