What is Wastewater Treatment?
Wastewater treatment or wastewater treatment is the process of removing disease-causing materials, solids, and biological contaminants from wastewater.
The types of facilities where this occurs are various but they all serve to minimize the impact on our environment. These include sewage treatment plants, septic tanks, pit privies, etc.
The three common types of facilities used to treat wastewater are physical-chemical processes, secondary treatment processes, and membrane processes.
- Physical-chemical processes use a combination of technologies that primarily depend on chemical reactions with naturally occurring substances in our environment to remove pollutants.
- Secondary treatments involve the use of natural bacterial action through the introduction of oxygen into organic material that helps decompose it into nitrogen gas.
- Membrane processes use microscopic filters to remove contaminants from flowing water.
The Wastewater Treatment Process
The wastewater treatment process is typically composed of five steps: pretreatment, primary treatment, secondary treatment, tertiary treatment, and disinfection.
- Pretreatment removes large objects and materials that could clog or damage downstream equipment such as screens, grinders, and flotation cells.
- Primary treatment separates solid material from the wastewater stream using gravity and mechanical means. This step also reduces the organic matter in the wastewater.
- Secondary treatment uses bacteria to break down the organic matter into simpler substances which can then be removed.
- Tertiary treatment may use a number of different technologies including sand filtration, activated adsorption, or membrane bioreactors to remove the remaining pollutants from the water.
- Disinfection is the step used to kill any harmful organisms that may be remaining in the water.
The Importance of Wastewater Treatment
The importance of wastewater treatment cannot be overstated as it helps protect our environment by removing harmful pollutants before they can cause damage. Not only does it help keep our waterways clean but it also helps protect and disinfect. Wastewater treatment also helps protect recreational areas and water supplies.
In addition, wastewater treatment is important for public health as it helps remove harmful bacteria and other organisms from the wastewater stream. This helps reduce the risk of disease outbreaks caused by contaminated water.
Wastewater Treatment in Our Communities
Wastewater treatment is an important part of our communities and helps protect our environment and public health. It is critical that we have properly functioning wastewater treatment facilities in order to keep our waterways clean and healthy. Unfortunately, many of our communities do not have adequate wastewater treatment facilities and this places a strain on our environment and public health. We must work together to ensure that all of our communities have the proper infrastructure in place to treat wastewater correctly.