Wastewater Treatment | Reclaim the waste water




Wastewater Treatment | Reclaim the waste water Wastewater is any water that has been affected or contaminated by human use. Wastewater refers to all effluent from any combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff or storm water, and any sewer inflow or sewer infiltration. Households produce wastewater from flush toilets, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, bath tubs and showers. Industrial wastewater comes from discharges by manufacturing and chemical industries. Rainwater in urban and agricultural areas picks up debris, grit, nutrients, and various chemicals, thus contaminating surface runoff water. What is Wastewater Treatment? With the amount of water getting contaminated the need for waste water treatment arises. Waste Water Treatment is the process of converting waste water into an effluent that can be returned to the water cycle with the minimum impact on the environment. It's also called as water reclamation because the treated water can be used for other purposes. For the need of waste water treatment, Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) also known as Sewage Treatment Plants are introduced. Wastewater Treatment Plants A Waste Water Treatment Plant can be express as the factory, which prevents the environment from waste produced by human beings. When the waste produced is beyond the limit of environment to decompose, WWTP is only the solution. Waste Water Treatment Plants aims at reducing the contaminants to acceptable levels to make the water safe for discharge back into the environment. It is used to be said "the solution to pollution is dilution." Waste Water Treatment Plants are majorly of two types - chemical or physical water treatment plant, biological water treatment plant. Physical Water Treatment Plants use chemical reactions as well as physical processes to treat waste water. Physical wastewater treatment plants are mostly used to treat wastewater from industries, factories and manufacturing firms. This is because most of the wastewater from these industries contains chemicals and other toxins that can largely harm the environment. Biological waste treatment plants use biological matter and bacteria to break down waste matter. Biological treatment systems are ideal for treating wastewater from households and business premises. Waste Water Treatment Process The following is a step by step process of how wastewater is treated: 1. Wastewater Collection This is the first step in waste water treatment process. Collection systems are put in place by municipal administration, home owners as well as business owners to ensure that all the wastewater is collected and directed to a central point. This water is then directed to a treatment plant using underground drainage systems or by exhauster tracks owned and operated by business people. 2. Odor Control Wastewater contains a lot of dirty substances that cause a foul smell over time. To ensure that the surrounding areas are free of the foul smell, odor treatment processes are initiated at the treatment plant. All odor sources are contained and treated using chemicals to neutralize the foul smell producing elements. 3. Screening Screening involves the removal of large objects such as nappies, cotton buds, plastics, diapers, rags, sanitary items, nappies, face wipes, broken bottles or bottle tops that in one way or another may damage the equipment. Specially designed equipment is used to get rid of grit that is usually washed down into the sewer lines by rainwater. The solid wastes removed from the wastewater are then transported and disposed off in landfills. 4. Primary Treatment Primary treatment is done by pouring the wastewater into big tanks for the solid matter to settle at the surface of the tanks. The sludge, the solid waste that settles at the surface of the tanks, is removed by large scrappers and is pushed to the center of the cylindrical tanks and later pumped out of the tanks for further treatment. The remaining water is then pumped for secondary treatment. 5. Secondary Treatment Also known as the activated sludge process, the secondary treatment stage involves adding seed sludge to the wastewater to ensure that is broken down further. Air is first pumped into huge aeration tanks which mix the wastewater with the seed sludge which is basically a small amount of sludge, which fuels the growth of bacteria that uses oxygen and the growth of other small microorganisms that consume the remaining organic matter. This process leads to the production of large particles that settle down at the bottom of the huge tanks. 6. Bio-solids handling The solid matter that settles out after the primary and secondary treatment stages are directed to digesters. The digesters are heated at room temperature. The solid wastes are then treated for a month where they undergo anaerobic digestion. During this process, methane gases are produced and there is a formation of nutrient rich bio-solids which are recycled. 7. Tertiary treatment The tertiary treatment stage can remove up to 99 percent of the impurities from the wastewater. This produces effluent water that is close to drinking water quality. Unfortunately, this process tends to be a bit expensive as it requires special equipment, well-trained and highly skilled equipment operators, chemicals and a steady energy supply. 8. Sludge Treatment The sludge that is produced and collected during the primary and secondary treatment processes requires concentration and thickening to enable further processing. It is put into thickening tanks that allow it to settle down and later separates from the water. The remaining water is collected and sent back to the huge aeration tanks for further treatment. The sludge is then treated and sent back into the environment and can be used for agricultural use. Advantages of Waste Water Treatment It ensures clean environment No water pollution Treated water can be used for cooling in factories and industries Prevents outbreak of water borne diseases Conclusion It can be said that wastewater treatment process is one of the most important environmental conservation processes that should be encouraged worldwide.