Globally, 2 million tons of agricultural, industrial and sewage waste is discharged into the waterways of the world. More than half of the hospital beds in the world are occupied by people suffering from wastewater-related illnesses. Polluted water results in the death of a substantially large number of people. In a community, wastewater that is not properly managed can result in severe health and social problems, and this is where wastewater management or treatment comes into play. It not only aims to make polluted water reusable, but prevents waterborne disease and water pollution as well.

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What Is Wastewater Treatment?

It is a process in which the contaminants from both industrial and domestic wastewater are removed. As a result of this, solid waste or waste stream that is suitable for reuse or safe discharge is produced. Basically, there are three different types of wastewater treatment:

  • Biological
  • Chemical
  • Physical

Biological Treatment

Unlike the other types of wastewater management, the wastewater is decomposed and the end product is stabilized by using bacteria and other similar microorganisms. Aerobic and anaerobic are the two sub-divisions of biological wastewater treatment:

  • Aerobic Process – The organic matter is consumed by bacteria and in the presence of oxygen, is converted to carbon dioxide.
  • Anaerobic Process –The sludge is fermented in the absence of oxygen at a certain temperature.

Chemical Treatment

In chemical wastewater treatment, contaminants in wastewater is eliminated by using chemicals.

  • Chlorination

Chlorination is the most common way of treating wastewater chemically. In this process, the bacteria are killed by using a potent oxidizing chemical, as a result of which water decomposes.

  • Neutralization

Neutralization is another common chemical wastewater management process used to treat industrial wastewater. In this process, an acid or base is added to the water as a result of which its pH value is adjusted, and it is brought back to neutral level. The most common base used in this process to neutralize the acid wastes is lime.

  • Sewage Treatment

In sewage treatment, polyvalent metals are used as coagulating chemicals quite often. Iron and other metals that contain compounds such as aluminum sulfate and ferric sulfate are also among the commonly used coagulants.

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Physical Treatment

In physical wastewater treatment, instead of resorting to biological or chemical means, wastewater is treated using physical processes such as aeration, filtration and sedimentation.

  • Sedimentation

In sedimentation, wastewater is coarsely screened so that contaminating objects can be removed after they have settled at the base. This is the most effective physical wastewater management process.

  • Aeration

In “aeration,” oxygen is provided to the contaminated water by adding air to it. Waste stream or cleared effluent can also be physically removed without any hassle by using equipment like Wilden pumps. Using the Wilden air diaphragm pumps, large quantities of wastewater can be pumped away.

Every day, over 1 billion gallons of sewage or wastewater is produced, and various life forms, including human beings are significantly harmed when the wastewater is disposed. This is the reason carrying out proper wastewater management is so important before disposing out the waste water into the environment; it can save the environment and many lives.