Wastewater treatment is the process of converting wastewater into bilge water so that it can be discharged into the water bodies so that it can be mixed and gets reused due to the natural filtration process. Wastewater usually contains toxic chemicals, bacteria, and other harmful resins. The treatment unit aims at reducing the contaminants to acceptable levels so that it can be discharged back into environment.
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There are mainly two types of treatment plants namely physical and chemical plant, and biological wastewater treatment plant. Biological wastewater is another type where they use biological matter and bacteria to break down waste matter. The physical waste treatment uses both chemical reactions and physical processes. Most of the wastewater from the industries contain chemicals and toxins that can largely affect the environment.
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Wastewater collection is done in many steps, some common steps are the collection of wastewater that is mainly done by the municipal administration. It is done channel technique and water is made to flow in channels to one central point. This water is then directed to a treatment plant using underground systems. Another important factor is the odor control as wastewater contains a lot of dirty substances with foul smell over time. All the odor sources are contained and neutralized using chemicals.
The overall design of the wastewater treatment plant consists of 4 stages: i) Primary treatment which consists of screening, grit removal and sedimentation ii) Secondary treatment consists of a bioreactor iii) Tertiary treatment consists of nitrogen removal, adsorption and pH control.
Screens typically consist of wedge wire. It is carried out in two phases. In the 1st phase also called coarse screening, the size of the opening is 20-30 mm. It captures the large objects. In the second phase called fine screening, the openings vary between 1.5 to 6.4 mm. Cross section area of the screens is typically 1 msq.
Sedimentation is the process of removing solid particles heavier than water by gravity settling. In wastewater treatment, sedimentation is used to remove both inorganic and organic materials which are settleable in continuous-flow conditions. The sedimentation tank consists of a tank with 2 settling funnels where solid waste settles down. Baffles are provided to enhance the settling process. The wastes removed in this stage 20 kg/h for a 1000 kg/h feed.
A bioreactor packed with sand of effective particle size 0.3-0.5 mm. The uniformity coefficient (a measure of similarity of shape and size in sand particles) of sand is 4. Assuming 30% BOD is removed by sedimentation, about 92% BOD removal takes place in this reactor.
For nitrogen removal, a Step Feed Anoxic Aerobic Process is used. In this process, wastewater is introduced at several feed points. Phosphate release and denitrification take place in the anoxic zone. In the aerobic zone, nitrification and BOD removal takes place.
Sludge digestion involves the treatment of highly concentrated organic wastes in the absence of oxygen by anaerobic bacteria. The dried sludge is fed to a cylindrical RCC tank of 6m diameter and the height of sludge in the tank is 6m.
The water discharged to the streams should neither be highly acidic nor alkaline. The acceptable discharge pH of 6:5. The pH of water in the tank is measured, which serves as an input to a controller. If pH is not close to 6.5, the exit stream is shut off.
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