Understanding Wastewater Pumping and Treatment Equipment

May 19, 2021

Wastewater is one of the most common pollutants around the world. Fortunately, the United States has a robust system in place, including sewers, pumping stations and treatment plants. Once wastewater enters a treatment plant, it undergoes a cleaning process before it’s released into receiving waters or sent away for reuse. Read on to gain an understanding of the process and equipment of wastewater treatment that occurs at a plant near you in Camden County, MO.

Different stages of treatment

Gaining an understanding of the process and equipment of wastewater treatment starts with learning about primary and secondary stages of treatment. In the primary stage, sewage enters the plant through a screen which removes large floating objects. After screening, the waste passes through a grit chamber to remove sand and small stones. The water then flows into a sedimentation tank that removes tiny particles, separating them from the water and forming a mass of solids called sludge. Primary treatment alone can’t purify water to safe standards, which is why secondary treatment is necessary.

During the secondary stage of treatment, 85 percent of organic matter in sewage is removed by activating the bacteria that’s already in it. The trickling filter and activated sludge process are the foundations of secondary stage treatment. Once the effluent leaves the sedimentation tank, it enters the facility either through the trickling filter or activated sludge process. A trickling filter is essentially a bed of stones or corrugated plastic laid at a depth of three to six feet. As sewage passes between the stones, bacteria gather and multiply on the stones and consume the organic matter in the process.

Clean water trickles out from the stones and enters pipes for further treatment, which is usually done in a second sedimentation tank. Excess bacteria are removed in the second sedimentation process. In general, the trickling filter method is seen as outdated when compared to the option of the activated sludge process. This method speeds up the work of the bacteria, bringing the bacteria into close contact with the sewage.

During the activated sludge process, sewage leaves the settling tank in the primary stage and is pumped into an aeration tank. Here, it’s mixed with air and sludge that’s heavy with bacteria, further breaking down the waste. As the bacteria works its magic, it creates harmless byproducts from any organic matter.

Once the sludge is activated by the excess bacteria, it can be returned to the aeration tank to mix with air and new sewage. To further break down waste products, it then moves into another sedimentation tank to remove bacteria. The final step of the process centers around disinfecting with chlorine. After this step, the water is safe to be discharged into receiving waters.

Learn more about the process

While understanding the process and equipment involved in wastewater treatment in Camden County, MO isn’t a glamorous subject, it’s a necessary one. The treatment process is essential for reducing environmental pollution and keeping humans, plants and animals safe from the harmful bacteria in wastewater. Contact Enviro-Line Co., Inc. to learn more about the benefits of wastewater treatment.

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