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FCE 581: Public Health Engineering II


8.1 Preliminary Treatment units
To ensure efficient and reliable sewage treatment, it is necessary to remove large floating
and suspended solids e.g. rags and other debris. This is achieved by the following methods.
1) Bar racks
Space between bars is 25 mm or more. The lacks may be cleaned manually or

2) Screens Opennings 6 mm or less

FCE 581: Public Health Engineering II

3) Comminutor

A comminutor is a self-cleansing shredding machine which cuts up sewage solids as

they are pulled through a fine screen which forms the outer cover of its vertical axis by
an electric motor. The drum is in fact a screen with 6.8 mm horizontal slots on which
cutter bars and large number of projecting teeth are fixes, the bars and teeth engage
with stationer steel combs.
4) Grit Chambers
Grit chambers are designed to remove grit consisting of sand, gravel or other heavy solid
materials that have subsiding velocity higher than that of organic solids in wastewater to
prevent (i) wearing of machinery and (ii) settling at the entrance.
(A) Horizontal Flow Grit Chambers
These are designed to maintain a velocity as close to 0.3 m/s as practical, by one of the
following methods.
1. A parallel of channels which are cut in and out of service to control velocity as flow

2) Channels with parabolic cross-section followed by a rectangular control like a

section like a Parshall.

FCE 581: Public Health Engineering II

The typical design information for horizontal flow grit chamber with Parshall flume
- Detention time (s)

45 90
- Horizontal velocity
0.25 0.4 m/s
- Settling velocity for removal 0.21 mm dia 1.0 -.1.3
0.15 mm dia - 0.6 0.9
- Headloss in control section
as percent of channel depth 30 - 40
- Allowance for inlet turbulence = 2Dm 0.5L
Where Dm = maximum depth, L = length of chamber
Tutorial Problem

Design a grit chamber with three channels with a flow-through velocity of 0.3 m/s for a
plant with a maximum design flow of 1.32 m3/s, an average flow of 0.66 m3/s and a
minimum flow of 0.264 m3/s. Assume that the maximum width of each channel is 1.8 m
and design each channel for a maximum emergency flow of 0.66 m3/s, a normal
maximum flow of 0.44 m3/s, an average flow of 0.22 m3/s and a minimum flow of 0.088
m3/s. Use a fixed-width control section with vertical sides and a well rounded and
smooth approach, so that the head loss may be assumed equal to 10% of the velocity
head. The flow at the control section will be at critical depth and the critical depth
equation will apply.
3) A rectangular channel with a sutro or proportional weir. This is a combination of a weir
and an orifice designed to maintain a nearly constant velocity by varying the crosssection area of flow through the weir.

(B) Aerated Types

These consist of spiral flow aerated tank. The spiral velocity is controlled by dimensions of
channel and quantity of air supplied to the unit; the ability to vary the flow of air
introduces flexibility.

(C) Square Grit Chamber

The solids are raked by a rotating mechanism
to a sump at the side of the tank from
which they are moved up an incline

FCE 581: Public Health Engineering II

8.2 Primary Treatment Units Sedimentation Tanks

The purpose of sedimentation of sewage is to separate the settleable solids so that the
settled sewage if discharged into water does not affirm sludge banks. Sedimentation of
solids also reduces the organic load on the secondary treatment units. Primary
sedimentation tanks are located after screen and grit chambers. Secondary sedimentation
tanks treat effluents from biological treatment operations such as trickling filters or
activated sludge units.

Sedimentation tanks for sewage treatment are now most commonly radial flow tanks.
They are circular in plan with floor slopes (2 -7o). The initial baffle (to minimize
turbulence) and flows outwards to the overflow weir . Mechanical scrappers are provided
for sludge collection and surface scum removal.

Overflow rates Average 2 30 m3/m2/day

50 60
3.0 3.5 - 4.5 m
Detention time
Primary sedimentation tanks
2 to 2 hr
Secondary sedimentation tanks 1 to 2 hr

FCE 581: Public Health Engineering II

Weir Loading Rate

Should not exceed 100 m3/m length of weir /day
It is preferable to use 50 mm deep notches placed 150 to 300 mm c/c for even weir

Primary sedimentation of domestic sewage may be expected to accomplish 30 to 45%
removal of BOD and 40 to 60% removal of suspended solids.