In many areas it may be mandatory for the industrial or municipal effluent to undergo some kind of wastewater preliminary treatment to reduce the burden on the treatment plants. There are various ways in which this is done. In this article I discuss why these are important and how this is done.
The industrial and municipal wastewater preliminary treatment processes are mainly physical methods of wastewater treatment
. A simple grit chamber can be used to filter out the dirt and grit. The chamber uses gravity to filter out minerals that can otherwise interfere with the biological treatment processes that follow. Larger solid particles can be separated through the use of woven wires, coarse screen or bars placed as screens.
The wastewater may also contain large sized organic solids. These are crushed into smaller more manageable pieces by passing them through Comminutors. Wastewater
that flows into the treatment plant from different sources has varying concentrations of dissolved substances as well as different types of these substances. These are mixed together in equalization basins to arrive at a uniform concentration of dissolved substances for easy treatment.
The toxicity of the influent wastewater is also diluted this way by mixing it with wastewater that is less toxic. Besides lowering the toxicity in this manner, the equalization basins are also used to handle toxic substances and toxicity in other ways:
* They are used to release the wastewater to be treated, in a steady stream to the following treatment units. Thus an average flow rate can be achieved rather than a minimum and a maximum flow rate.
* Concentrated waste impurities that are brought in can be mixed with wastewater containing lesser concentrations of the impurities. This will ensure an even concentration in the mixture which is much easier to manage.
* They are used to mix together alkaline and acidic wastewaters to obtain wastewater that has a stable pH value. Such a stable pH value will make it easy for the following processes to treat the wastewater more efficiently.
As the industrial and municipal effluent flows through the sewers, it will lose oxygen and produce odors. Hence to counter this a slight pre-chlorination or pre-aeration as a means of wastewater preliminary treatment might be necessary at the point of origin. This pre-aeration will also assist in the process of grease removal later at the primary clarification tanks.
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