How Is Wastewater Treated?
These wastewater treatment plants can also handle dirty storm water but it may require a separate system to handle storm runoff as it usually contains bigger particles which if not handled properly can damage the machinery and pipes of treatment plant. On arrival at the treatment plant, the waste water undergoes three stage process called primary, secondary and tertiary stages. We are discussing them below for your benefit.
Pre-Treatment StageIn this stage all the large visible particles are removed fro the waste water. Objects like plastic bags, sticks, stones are removed using large screens or rakes. Then the water is moved into the settling chamber for the removal of smaller objects that were successful in passing through the first pre-treatment stage.
It just consists of a big tank where water stands for considerable duration to allow for the particles to settle down at the bottom after which the water is removed. After this process, finally a skimmer is used for removing grease or fats as they usually keep floating on the surface of water.
Primary StageThis stage is quite similar to the previous one but is somewhat thorough one where remaining sludge is allowed to settle in chambers and remaining fat or grease is skimmed off from the waste water. The solid waste (sludge) generated in this process is disposed off after treating it chemically. Sometimes it is processed in the machines for further use as fertilizer.
Secondary StageThe main focus in this stage is to degrade any of the biological waste products like detergents, soaps, chemicals or human waste. This is achieved by the introduction of bacteria in this waste water which actively works by disintegrating the solid mass and makes the rest if waste clump in the form of 'floc'. It can be done either by introducing the bacteria in waste water or it is slowly trickled on a special filter that contains the bacteria stains which continuously grow and do their cleansing work as well. After this process, water is again introduced to a large tank where any remaining chunks and pieces are allowed to settle down at the bottom of the tank.
Tertiary stageIn this stage waste water is passed through sand for the removal of any remaining suspended particles and then over a special carbon filter for the removal of toxins. Some water treatment plants use lagoons for allowing the sediments to settle after which microbes work for removing any harmful substances. Finally, the water is disinfected by the introduction of chlorine. Many modern plants also use ozone and ultraviolet light to achieve these results.
After this detailed treatment, this waste water is re-introduced in our environment and is not directly used as a tap water. Many modern plants have some further purification processes that are accomplished after water is taken back from our environment for making it safe for drinking purpose.
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