Treatment Process Flow Sheets | Sewage Treatment | Wastewater


Dr.S. Kaliappan Centre for Environmental Studies Anna University Chennai-600 025 1.0 INTRODUCTION Over the years, a variety of methods have been developed for the treatment of water and wastewater. In most situations, a combination or sequence of methods will be needed. The specific sequence required will depend on the quality of the untreated water or wastewater and the desired quality of the product. Although treating water is relatively inexpensive on a per-cubic-meter basis, there is little opportunity to modify water quality directly in most natural systems such as streams, lakes, and groundwaters because of the large volumes involved. Rather, what is done is to treat the water used for public water supplies and to treat the water used for public water supplies and to treat wastewater before it is returned to the environment in engineered systems. It is the purpose of this discussion to present an overview of the various methods and means used for the treatment of water and wastewater. Topics to be considered in this include (1) the classification of treatment methods, (2) the various methods used for the treatment of specific contaminants, (3) the configuration of typical water and wastewater treatment plants, and (4) the techniques used to size the individual treatment facilities. 2.0CLASSIFICATION OF TREATMENT METHODS The contaminants in water and wastewater are removed by physical, chemical, and biological means. The specific methods are classified as physical unit operations, chemical unit processes, and biological unit processes. Although several of these operations and processes are combined in most treatment systems, they are usually considered separately – a practice followed in this text. By considering each group separately, it is possible to examine the fundamental principles involved apart from their application in the treatment of water and wastewater. 2.1 PHYSICAL UNIT OPERATIONS Treatment operations in which change is brought about through the application of physical forces are classified as physical unit operations. Typical unit operations include screening, mixing, gas transfer, sedimentation, and filtration.

2.2 CHEMICAL UNIT PROCESSES Treatment processes in which the removal or treatment of contaminants is brought about by the addition of chemicals or by chemical reactions are classified as chemical unit processes. Chemical precipitation and disinfection are two important examples. 2.3 BIOLOGICAL UNIT PROCESSES Treatment processes in which the removal of contaminants is brought about by biological means are classified as biological unit processes. The activated sludge process used for the treatment of the organic matter in wastewater is perhaps the best-known example. 3.0 TREATMENT METHODS CONTAMINATED WATERS FOR WATER, WASTEWATER, AND

A wide variety of contaminants that may be found in water and wastewater were identified and Contaminants that may have to be removed from groundwater, surface water, and wastewater to meet specific water quality objectives are identified in Table.1. Because of their importance, treatment methods for contaminants of anthropogenic origin are also considered. 3.1 WATER TREATMENT METHODS The most important objective of water treatment is to produce a water that is biologically and chemically safe for human consumption. Quality requirements similar to those for domestic use will generally apply for most industrial users. In some cases, such as in the manufacture of printed circuits, even higher quality requirements may have to be met. The principle contaminants found in water and the unit operations noted there, commonly used water treatment methods are either physical operations or chemical processes. Biological processes are not used because appreciable amounts of organic matter are not present in most natural waters and biological processes are not suitable in situations where contaminant concentrations are low. In general, effluents from biological treatment processes do not meet source standards for domestic water supplies. However, many community water supplies contain treated effluents from upstream wastewater discharges but dilution and the assimilative capacity of the receiving water are sufficient to make the mixture acceptable as a water supply source. 3.2 WASTEWATER TREATMENT METHODS The principle objective of wastewater treatment is to produce an effluent that can be discharged without causing serious environmental impacts. The principal contaminants found in wastewater and the unit operation and processes used for their removal are summarized in Table 3. Processes and operations used in wastewater treatment are similar to those used in water treatment, except for biological methods. The principal use of biological treatment is for the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus in some situations. A large number of biological process configurations are in use, and several combine physical operations and chemical and biological processes within the same unit.

TABLE.1 Typical Contaminants Found in Various Waters that May Need to Be Removed to Meet Specific Water Quality Objectives* TYPICAL CONTAMINANTS FOUND IN Surface water Wastewater Branches, leaves, algal Wood, rags, paper, grit, food mats, soil particles wastes, feces Microorganisms, trace Clay, silt, organic Food wastes, feces, pathogenic organic and inorganic materials, pathogenic bacteria, other † organisms, algae, other microorganisms, silt constituents microorganisms Iron and manganese, Organic compounds, Organic compounds (e.g. hardness ions, tannic acids, hardness BOD) nutrients, heavy metals, inorganic salts, trace ions, inorganic salts inorganic salts organic compounds ‡ Carbon dioxide, Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen sulfide methane § Oils and greases Oils and greases Groundwater None

CLASS Floating and suspended materials Colloidal materials

Dissolved materials

Dissolved gases Immiscible liquids

* Specific water quality objectives may be related to drinking water standards, industrial use requirements, effluent discharge requirements, or agricultural reuse. † Typically of anthropogenic origin. ‡ Gas supersaturation may have to be reduced if surface water is to be used in fish hatcheries. § Unusual in natural groundwater aquifers.

TABLE.2 Unit Operations, Processes, and Treatment Systems Used to Remove the Major Contaminants Found in Water CONTAMINANT Pathogenic organisms Turbidity and Suspended matter UNIT OPERATION. UNIT PROCESS, OR TREATMENT SYSTEM Chlorination Ozonation Screening Sedimentation Filtration Coagulation/flocculation/ sedimentation/filtration Adsorption Ion exchange Coagulation/ flocculation / sedimentation/filtration Oxidation (aeration) Adsorption Chemical oxidation Adsorption Ion exchange Ozonation Coagulation / flocculation / Sedimentation / filtration Chemical precipitation Ion exchange Aeration Vacuum deaeration Chlorination Ion exchange Chemical precipitation Ion exchange Ion exchange Oxidation / precipitation / filtration Reverse osmosis Distillation CLASSIFICATION* C C P P P C/ P/P/P P/C C C/ P/P/P P/C P C P C C C/ P/P/P C C P P C C C C C /P


Tastes and odors Organic matter

Hardness ions, Ca+2 + Mg+2 Dissolved gases

Heavy metals Iron and manganese Dissolved solids *C = chemical, P = physical.

3.3 CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER TREATMENT METHODS Serious health and environmental hazards exist in a wide variety chemicals of anthropogenic origin that have been found in both surface waters and groundwaters. The principal objectives to be met in treating contaminated groundwaters are to eliminate the

health hazards and to restore, to the extent possible, he quality of the groundwater. Treatment methods for contaminated groundwaters are listed in Table 4. TABLE 3 Unit Operations, Processes, and Treatment Systems Used to Remove the Major Contaminants Found in Wastewater UNIT OPERATION, UNIT PROCESS, OR TREATMENT SYSTEM Screening and comminution Sedimentation Flotation Filtration Coagulation / sedimentation Land treatment Activated sludge Trickling filters Rotating biological contactors Aerated lagoons Oxidation ponds Intermittent sand filtration Land treatment Physical / chemical Chlorination Ozonation Land treatment Suspended-growth nitrification and denitrification Fixed-film nitrification and denitrification Ammonia stripping Ion exchange Breakpoint chlorination Land treatment Metal salt coagulation/ sedimentation Lime coagulation / sedimentation Biological / chemical phosphorus removal Land treatment Carbon adsorption Tertiary ozonation Land treatment systems Chemical precipitation Ion exchange Land treatment

CONTAMINANT Suspended solids


Biodegradable organics

Pathogens Nutrients: Nitrogen


Refractory organics Heavy metals

Dissolved inorganic solids

Ion exchange Reverse osmosis Electrodialysis *B = biological, C = chemical, P = physical.


TABLE 4 Unit Operations, Processes, and Treatment Systems Used to Remove Anthropagenic Contaminants Found in Groundwater CONTAMINANT Acids and alkalies Biodegradable organics UNIT OPERATION, UNIT PROCESS, OR TREATMENT SYSTEM Membrane separation / reuse Neutralization Activated sludge Aerobic filtration Aerobic ponds Anaerobic digestion Adsorption (traces) Chemical reduction Gravimetric separation Precipitation Adsorption (traces) Encapsulation / fixation Gravimetric separation Landfill Membrane separation / reuse Precipitation Chemical oxidation / reduction Dissolving Encapsulation / fixation Hydrolysis Chemical oxidation Incineration Solvent extraction / incineration Solvent extraction / reuse Acid / caustic stripping Distillation Evaporation Filtration Gravimetric separation Incineration Steam stripping CLASSIFICATION * P C B B B B P C P C P P P P P C C C P C C C C C C P P P P C P

Heavy metals

Inorganic ions and salts

Reactive ions and compounds Refractory organics

Solvents and oils

*B = biological, C = chemical, P = physical.

4.0 TREATMENT PROCESS FLOW SHEETS Depending on the contaminants to be removed, an almost limitless number of process combinations can be developed using the unit operations and processes. The term "flow sheet" is used to describe a particular combination of unit operations and processes used to achieve a specific treatment objective. Apart from the analysis of the technical feasibility of the individual treatment methods, the exact flow-sheets configuration will depend on factors such as (1) the needs of the client's needs, (2) the designer's past experience, (3) regulatory agency policies on the application of specific treatment methods, (4) the availability of equipment suppliers, (5) what use can be made of existing facilities, (6) the availability of qualified operating personnel, (7) initial construction costs, and (8) future operation and maintenance costs. Conventional flow sheets for the treatment of water and wastewater are presented and discussed below. 4.1 WATER TREATMENT The treatment required for a water depends on the source of supply. For example, the treatment of water from a remote mountain catchment area may involve screening, filtration, and disinfection, whereas the treatment for river water may involve screening, coagulation / flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection. Groundwater from deep wells may require no treatment at all. Depending on the local geology, both groundwater and surface supplies may require softening for hardness removal. A flow sheet for the treatment of a groundwater containing iron and manganese is shown in Fig.1 As shown, chlorine and atmospheric oxygen are used to oxidize the iron and manganese. After sedimentation, granular-medium filtration is used to remove any residual oxidation products. A typical flow sheet for the complete treatment of river water is shown in Fig.2. As shown, the bar racks and screens are used to remove large debris. The coagulation / flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration treatment steps are used for the removal of turbidity and pathogenic organisms. Chemical coagulation and flocculation are used to produce a flocculant precipitate that enmeshes the colloidal and suspended solids in the water. The precipitate is removed by gravity sedimentation. Filtration is used to remove any residual solids remaining after sedimentation. Disinfection is used for the control of pathogenic organisms. After disinfection, the treated water is often stored in a clear well prior to being pumped into the distribution system. The storage lagoons are used for the treatment of the materials removed from the raw water and the materials added to bring about treatment. 4.2 WASTEWATER TREATMENT The treatment required for a wastewater will depend on the effluent discharge requirements. For example, where an ocean discharge is used, removal of large debris by screens and of settleable solids by sedimentation may be the only treatment steps that are required. Where treated effluent is to be discharged to an inland stream, complete

treatment may be required. Discharges to environmentally sensitive lakes, streams, and estuaries may require additional treatment to remove specific constituents. Treatment schemes are often identified as primary, secondary, or advanced (also known as tertiary). In primary treatment, a portion of the suspended solids and organic matter is removed from the wastewater. This removal is usually accomplished with physical operations such as screening and sedimentation. The effluent from primary treatment will ordinarily contain considerable organic matter and will have a relatively high BOD. The further treatment of the effluent from primary treatment to remove the residual organic mater and suspended material is known as secondary treatment. In general, biological processes employing microorganisms are used to accomplish secondary treatment. The effluent from secondary treatment usually has little BOD5 and suspended solids and may contain several milligrams per litter of dissolved oxygen. When required for water reuse or for the control of eutrophication in receiving waters, advanced (tertiary) treatment is used for the removal of suspended and dissolved materials remaining after secondary treatment. The choice of a set of treatment methods depends on several factors, including discharge permits and available disposal facilities. Actually, the distinction between primary, secondary, and advanced treatment is rather arbitrary, as many modern treatment methods incorporate physical, chemical, and biological processes in the same operation. A more rational approach would be to drop these arbitrary distinctions and to focus instead on the optimum combinations of operations and processes that must be used to achieve the required treatment objectives. For enforcement purposes, the CPPHEO has established standards for secondary treatment. Typical flow sheets for the treatment of wastewater are presented in Figs.(3) and (4). The flow sheets shown in Fig. (3) are used for small communities, whereas the flow sheet shown in Fig. (4) is for a larger community. In the flow sheets shown in Fig. (3), the large solids in the incoming wastewater are screened or reduced in size by communication. In Fig.3 (a) and 3 (d), the wastewater, after pretreatment in either an Imhoff tank or in wastewater oxidation ponds, is discharged to an aquatic marsh for final treatment. In Fig.3 (b) the wastewater is disposed of by percolation into the soil after biological treatment. In Fig. 3(c) a suspended-growth biological is used for treatment. Under current regulations, the final effluent from flow sheets in Fig.3 (a), (c) and (d) would have to be disinfected before discharge to the environment. In larger communities (Fig.4), racks are used to remove large debris and the size of coarse solids is reduced by communication. The use of grit-removal facilities will depend on the nature and condition of the incoming sewers. Flow metering may precede or follow grit removal. In some plants, flow metering is accomplished at the effluent end of the plant. Settleable solids re removed in the primary sedimentation tank. Biological treatment is used to remove colloidal and dissolved organic matter and any residual solids escaping the primary sedimentation tank. The secondary sedimentation tank is an integral part of the biological treatment process. Disinfection is used to control the

discharge of pathogenic microorganisms. Dechlorination is used to remove any residual chlorine before discharge into ecologically sensitive areas. 4.3 CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER TREATMENT Generally the cleanup of a contaminated groundwater could be accomplished by pumping out the contaminated water, treating it, and reinjecting the treated water back into the groundwater aquifer. A flow sheet for the treatment of a groundwater contaminated with volatile and nonvolatile organic compounds is presented in Fig.5. As shown, gas (air) stripping is used to remove the volatile organics, and activated carbon is used for the removal of the nonvolatile organic compounds by adsorption. The air from the stripping tower containing the organic compound removed from the groundwater is passed through a filter before being discharged. The filter medium must be disposed of at a hazardouswaste disposal site. Where the concentration of the contaminant is sufficient to support microbial activity, selected strains of micro organisms have been used for treatment. In the future, as the field of genetic engineering develops, it is anticipated that enzymes and microbial cultures capable of treating a wide range of compounds will be developed. 5.0 SLUDGE PROCESSING In recent times, disposal of the material removed from water and wastewater (including the material added to bring about treatment) has become one of the most difficult problems in the implementation of any treatment system. The material removed by treatment is usually identified as sludge. Typical methods that have been used for the processing of sludge from water and wastewater treatment plants are considered below. 5.1 SLUDGE FROM WATER TREATMENT PLANTS In general, because coagulant and filter-backwash sludges are quite different, different methods of disposal should be used. In most new water filtration plants, and in many modified older water treatment plants, filter backwash is returned to the raw-water intake using this method, the only sludge that must be processed is the sludge removed from the settling basin. In smaller treatment plants, storage basins are used to equalize the backwash return-water flow rate. The capacity of the equalization basins should be such that the rate at which backwash water is returned to the treatment process is equal to or less than 10 percent of the average plant filtration rate. The combined sludge removed from the settling basin is usually disposed of in lagoons. Because lagoons are used both for storage and drying a minimum of two lagoons is required. Drying is usually completed within six months. In very large treatment plants, where space is at a premium, coagulant sludge may be thickened before drying. In some cases, it has been possible to reuse the coagulant sludge may be thickened before drying. In some cases, it has been possible to reuse the coagulant sludge for the manufacture of bricks and building blocks. Some small treatment plants discharge combined coagulant sludge to municipal sewers.

5.2 SLUDGE FROM WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS In small wastewater treatment plants without sludge digestion facilities, sludge is disposed of in lagoons or on sludge drying beds, as shown in sludge is disposed of in sludge drying beds. In intermediate and large plants, biological sludge is usually thickened before anaerobic sludge digestion digested sludge is either dewatered and trucked away for disposal or applied to storage lagoons or drying beds for dewatering. Dewatered sludge from storage lagoons or drying beds is usually disposed of by landfilling or land spreading. 5.3 SLUDGE FROM CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER TREATMENT Waste materials removed from contaminated groundwaters are usually concentrated prior to disposal in specially designated hazardous-waste disposal sites. In some cases, the waste materials can be incinerated or pyrolyzed. 6.0 IMPLEMENTATION OF TREATMENT METHODS In both water and wastewater treatment, the physical implementation of the unit operations and processes identified in Tables 2, 3, and 4 is accomplished in specially designed tanks or other appropriate facilities in which the pertinent operational and environmental variables are controlled so that treatment can be accomplished at accelerated rates as compared with the rates that would be expected in natural systems. In theory, the size and configuration of the tankage should depend on the kinetics governing the specific operation and process and the treatment objectives to be met. However, based on past experience, a variety of empirical design parameters have been developed. Theses parameters are commonly used for the design of unit operations and processes in routine applications. In some cases, because of the unusual nature of some wastes, pilot-plant resting has been necessary to define design parameters. Where chemical and biological processes are to be used, it is now common practice to determine the required tank volume on the basis of a materials balance analysis in which the applicable reaction and/or process kinetics controlling the process are considered. Over the years, various design parameters and criteria have been developed from practical experience for the design of conventional water and wastewater treatment operations and processes. Typical design parameters are based on detention time, surface loading rates, and mass loading rates. The most commonly used parameters are furnished in Annexure – I

Annexure Design Parameter 1. Hydraulic detention time, θH: θH volume V, m3 = --------------------flow rate Q, m3/d (1)

2. Hydraulic surface loading rate, S Q / A: flow rate Q, m3 / d SQ / A = -------------------Surface area A, m2 3. Mass surface loading rate, SM / A : mass of material applied, kg / d SM / A = --------------------------------------Surface area A, m2 4. Mass per volume loading rate, V M /V : mass of material applied, kg / d V M / V= --------------------------------------Volume V, m3 5. Mass per mass loading rate, M M / M: mass of material applied, kg/d M M / M = ------------------------------------Mass of material in system, kg (5) (4) (3)


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