A new approach for studying the operation of a secondary sedimentation tank (SST)
Lucio Pezza, expert on the management, control and maintenance of water and wastewater treatment plants, covers some key concerns of his new article on the operation of secondary sedimentation tanks (SSTs).
Coagulation and Flocculation in Water and Wastewater Treatment
Coagulation and flocculation are an essential part of drinking water treatment as well as wastewater treatment. This article provides an overview of the processes and looks at the latest thinking.
Reverse Osmosis and Removal of Minerals from Drinking Water
Reverse Osmosis will generally remove salt, manganese, iron, flouride, lead, and calcium (Binnie et. al., 2002). Most mineral constituents of water are physically larger than water molecules and they are trapped by the semi-permeable membrane and removed from drinking water when filtered through a RO (AllAboutWater.org, 2004). Meanwhile, consumers are concerned about the removal of minerals from their drinking water.
Waterborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms which are directly transmitted when contaminated fresh water is consumed. Contaminated fresh water, used in the preparation of food, can be the source of foodborne disease through consumption of the same microorganisms. According to the World Health Organization, diarrheal disease accounts for an estimated 4.1% of the total DALY (diability-adjusted life year) global burden of disease and is responsible for the deaths of 1.8 million people every year. It was estimated that 88% of that burden is attributable to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and is mostly concentrated in children in developing countries.
Sedimentation is one of several methods for application prior to filtration: other options include dissolved air flotation and some methods of filtration. Generically, such solids-liquid separation processes are sometimes referred to as clarification processes. There is a variety of methods for applying sedimentation and include: horizontal flow, radial flow, inclined plate, ballasted floc and floc blanket sedimentation.
Industrial Wastewater Treatment
Industrial wastewater treatment covers the mechanisms and processes used to treat waters that have been contaminated in some way by anthropogenic industrial or commercial activities prior to its release into the environment or its re-use.
Most industries produce some wet waste although recent trends in the developed world have been to minimise such production or recycle such waste within the production process. However, many industries remain dependent on processes that produce wastewaters.
Sustainability in Water Supply
This article serves as a general reference for sustainable water supply systems. The scope remains global and macroscopic, though there may be regional differences depending on the water sources available in a particular setting. What is considered “sustainable” in one location may be a challenge to sustainability elsewhere.
Simple Options to Remove Turbidity
The health consequences of inadequate water and sanitation services include an estimated 4 billion cases of diarrhea and 1.9 million deaths each year, mostly among young children in developing countries. Diarrheal diseases lead to decreased food intake and nutrient absorption, malnutrition, reduced resistance to infection, and impaired physical growth and cognitive development. Since 1996, a large body of published work has proven the effectiveness of interventions to improve water quality through household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) at reducing diarrheal disease. However, not all of these interventions remove the turbidity that causes water to look dirty. Although the following options are not proven to reduce diarrheal disease incidence on their own, they can be used to pre-treat water to reduce turbidity before the use of household water treatment products. These options mechanically (through filtration) or chemically (through flocculation and settling of suspended material) remove particles and reduce turbidity. These pre-treatment methods may also increase the efficacy of household water treatment products by removing contaminants that interfere with disinfection and physical filtration processes.
Physico-chemical Water Treatment Processes
Physico-chemical treatment of wastewater focuses primarily on the separation of colloidal particles. This is achieved through the addition of chemicals (called coagulants and flocculants). These change the physical state of the colloids allowing them to remain in an indefinitely stable form and therefore form into particles or flocs with settling properties (3, 4 and 5).
Flocculation is a process which clarifies the water. Clarifying means removing any turbidity or colour so that the water is clear and colourless. Clarification is done by causing a precipitate to form in the water which can be removed using simple physical methods. Initially the precipitate forms as very small particles but as the water is gently stirred, these particles stick together to form bigger particles - this process is sometimes called flocculation. Many of the small particles that were originally present in the raw water adsorb onto the surface of these small precipitate particles and so get incorporated into the larger particles that coagulation produces. In this way the coagulated precipitate takes most of the suspended matter out of the water and is then filtered off, generally by passing the mixture through a coarse sand filter or sometimes through a mixture of sand and granulated anthracite (high carbon and low volatiles coal).