Wastewater is generated by industrial, domestic and municipal industries varying in contaminants and quality. The process for treating wastewater involves different treatment stages depending on its originating source.
Wastewater is often generated in large amounts from industrial processes and is required to meet certain criteria before discharge into drainage networks or rivers as it can contain traces of heavy metals, fibrous substances, chemicals and small solids particles.
There are three stages of wastewater treatment primary, secondary and tertiary:
- Primary treatment involves water flowing into a settling tank or clarifier allowing solids to separate by density with lighter solids floating and heavier sinking. The particles, which sink form, a sludge, which is removed, using mechanical means, dewatered and removed. Such sludge is referred to as cake.
- Secondary treatment involves the additional treatment of water through the use of biological matter and water borne microorganisms to treat the water. Extra process such as aeration may be used to accelerate biological breakdown and filtration to remove sediment further. These processes treat water and contaminants to safe levels.
- Tertiary treatment: is an advanced treatment process following secondary treatment of waste water , that produces high quality water by using sand and carbon media filters and disinfection unit.
Dosing pumps are used for treating water to a specific PH before discharge into mains pipe work, which can be diaphragm metering pumps, progressing cavity or peristaltic pumps.
Coagulants and flocculants are used in wastewater treatment plants for the removal of solids and part of the secondary and tertiary stage of water treatment. Coagulation is used to coagulate solids or group solids together rather than be dispersed in a liquid. Flocculation is then used to make the grouped solids sink to allow separation of the water from suspended particles.
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