Wastewater is one of the major sources of pollution in the world. Every day an unimaginable amount of wastewater is released into natural water resources such as seas, rivers, lakes, ponds, etc which further deteriorates the quality of the groundwater. And, it also affects several living organisms including marine life. Industries are a major producer of this wastewater, constituting effluents and sewage. Hence, wastewater treatment is the most important and effective solution for a sustainable living environment.

However, before applying wastewater treatment, it is important to be aware of how it helps in protecting the environment.

Wastewater Treatment Plants help in cleaning the effluents and sewage so that the treated water can be applied for reusable purposes. These plants help in the following ways:

  • Remove solids and pollutants

  • Break down organic matter

  • Restore the oxygen content of the treated water

These results are achieved after going through the following set of operations:

  • Step 1 - Preliminary Treatment

During this phase, a wastewater treatment plant helps in removing easy pickings. The wastewater is made to pass through a set of bar screens which clear away large items such as: 

  • Tree Limbs

  •  Garbage

  •  Leaves

  •  Cans

  •  Plastic Bottles, and other several wastes.

Along with the bar screens, there are equalisation basins and grit chambers which regulate the rate of water inflow which helps in the settlement of stones, sand and glass waste. These chambers hold this sewage until it is ready to undergo treatment.

  • Step 2 - Primary Treatment

After preliminary treatment, the wastewater is transferred to large sedimentation tanks and basins which allow the smaller particles to settle. Mechanically driven scrapers help in removing solid matter and then direct the wastewater to the hoppers connected with the sludge treatment equipment. In this phase, surface skimmers are also used to remove grease and oil from the wastewater.

  • Step 3 - Secondary Treatment

During this phase, secondary basins help in aerating and agitating the wastewater by adding useful micro-organisms in order to break down organic matter, which gets it converted into activated sludge. This results in the creation of biological floc which removes carbon and nitrogen from organic wastes. Other technologies such as membrane bioreactors and biological aerated filters are also used during this process.

  • Step 4 - Sludge Treatment

The final phase involves the treatment of the remaining wastewater. Here, gravity helps in the separation of organic waste from heavier grit. The remaining sludge is then put into a thickener, where it gets centrifuged and fed to digesting tanks containing anaerobic bacteria. The remaining wastewater is treated to remove phosphorus, nitrogen and other minerals, disinfected with chlorine.

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