Wastewater Treatment

The principal objective of wastewater treatment is generally to allow human and industrial effluents to be disposed of without danger to human health or unacceptable damage to the natural environment. Irrigation with wastewater is both disposal and utilization and indeed is an effective form of wastewater disposal (as in slow-rate land treatment). However, some degree of treatment must normally be provided to raw municipal wastewater before it can be used for agricultural or landscape irrigation or for aquaculture. The quality of treated effluent used in agriculture has a great influence on the operation and performance of the wastewater-soil-plant or aquaculture system. In the case of irrigation, the required quality of effluent will depend on the crop or crops to be irrigated, the soil conditions and the system of effluent distribution adopted. Through crop restriction and selection of irrigation systems which minimize health risk, the degree of pre-application wastewater treatment can be reduced. A similar approach is not feasible in aquaculture systems and more reliance will have to be placed on control through wastewater treatment.

Conventional wastewater treatment processes:

Preliminary treatment : The objective of preliminary treatment is the removal of coarse solids and other large materials often found in raw wastewater. Removal of these materials is necessary to enhance the operation and maintenance of subsequent treatment units. Preliminary treatment operations typically include coarse screening, grit removal and, in some cases, comminution of large objects. In grit chambers, the velocity of the water through the chamber is maintained sufficiently high, or air is used, so as to prevent the settling of most organic solids. Grit removal is not included as a preliminary treatment step in most small wastewater treatment plants.

Primary treatment: The objective of primary treatment is the removal of settleable organic and inorganic solids by sedimentation, and the removal of materials that will float (scum) by skimming. Approximately 25 to 50% of the incoming biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), 50 to 70% of the total suspended solids (SS), and 65% of the oil and grease are removed during primary treatment. Some organic nitrogen, organic phosphorus, and heavy metals associated with solids are also removed during primary sedimentation but colloidal and dissolved constituents are not affected.

Secondary treatment: The objective of secondary treatment is the further treatment of the effluent from primary treatment to remove the residual organics and suspended solids. In most cases, secondary treatment follows primary treatment and involves the removal of biodegradable dissolved and colloidal organic matter using aerobic biological treatment processes. Aerobic biological treatment (see Box) is performed in the presence of oxygen by aerobic microorganisms (principally bacteria) that metabolize the organic matter in the wastewater, thereby producing more microorganisms and inorganic end-products (principally CO2, NH3, and H2O). Several aerobic biological processes are used for secondary treatment differing primarily in the manner in which oxygen is supplied to the microorganisms and in the rate at which organisms metabolize the organic matter.

Tertiary and/or advanced treatment :  Tertiary and/or advanced wastewater treatment is employed when specific wastewater constituents which cannot be removed by secondary treatment must be removed. Individual treatment processes are necessary to remove nitrogen, phosphorus, additional suspended solids, refractory organics, heavy metals and dissolved solids. Because advanced treatment usually follows high-rate secondary treatment, it is sometimes referred to as tertiary treatment. However, advanced treatment processes are sometimes combined with primary or secondary treatment (e.g., chemical addition to primary clarifiers or aeration basins to remove phosphorus) or used in place of secondary treatment (e.g., overland flow treatment of primary effluent).

  • Water reclamation
  • Sewage Treatment Plant
  • Industrial wastewater treatment
  • Agricultural Wastewater treatment Plants
  • Leachate Treatment Plants
  • Oxidation
  • Polishing
  • Phase Separation

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