Aeration in Wastewater Treatment

October 26, 2020

Do you know how your water is treated once it goes down the drain? Many people are surprised to hear that the air we breathe plays a big role in processing wastewater. In fact, aeration of wastewater is a crucial part of the treatment process in Camden County, MO. Commercial and industrial wastewater plants use aeration to help get rid of harmful bacteria in the water. This makes it possible to treat water without harsh or hazardous chemicals.

Here’s an overview of the aeration process and why it’s so important.

What is aeration and why is it used?

What is wastewater aeration treatment in Camden County, MO? Rather than using chemicals, aeration adds air to wastewater. This allows naturally-occurring microorganisms to biodegrade pollutants in the water. Without additional oxygen, helpful bacteria can’t consume the pollutants fast enough—although it’s a natural process, it takes a long time to break down on its own. It’s also not as effective. For example, it may take months to treat the water without aeration, and that doesn’t guarantee that the water will be completely pollutant free.

During aeration, helpful bacteria use air to break down the polluted water. This produces water and carbon dioxide. On the other hand, hydrogen sulfide and methane gas byproducts occur when wastewater isn’t aerated. (This is why unaerated wastewater smells so foul.)

There are two different kinds of aeration: subsurface and surface aeration. Subsurface aeration is the most common. A pump is lowered into the water, which delivers compressed air. This ensures water and oxygen are thoroughly mixed, so the helpful bacteria can feed on the pollutants. Surface aeration uses powerful jets at the bottom of the tank to push the water up into the air. When the droplets fall, oxygen mixes into the water and provides bacterial fuel.

Aeration is used at the second phase of wastewater treatment, which is called the “activated sludge process.” After the water is filtered or screened for large particles, the water proceeds to the aeration stage. Oxygen is mixed into the water, and microbes feed on the organic matter. Then the water is passed into the secondary settling tank. Remaining particles settle at the bottom, while the treated water is sent out into the groundwater supply or used in municipal water lines.

Why is aeration so important?

As mentioned earlier, non-aerated wastewater takes much longer to treat naturally, isn’t as effective and produces foul odors. Since we can’t wait months for water to be treated, aeration is a quick and easy way to speed along the natural biodegrading processes. Furthermore, it helps prevent water stratification and algae growth.

Aeration is the best way to treat wastewater without resorting to harmful chemicals, which can pollute the groundwater supply and kill plant or marine life.

When you need aeration pumps for your wastewater treatment facility in Camden County, MO, the experts at Enviro-Line Co., Inc. can supply everything you need. Get in touch with us today to discuss building your next wastewater treatment solution.

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