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Introduction

Even though 99% of wastewater is water, it contains pathogens, nutrients, solids,


chemicals and other hazardous substances, which is dangerous for both human and
environment. With proper treatment, the water will be environmentally friendly and not
dangerous for human. In this case, civil engineering undergraduates of Queensland
University of Technology have been given an opportunity to look inside one of the
methods that can be used to treat wastewater by Loganholme wastewater treatment
plant (Figure 1). The results from this treatment are; the water is recycled and available
to be reused.

Figure 1 Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant (Image courtesy of Loganholme


Wastewater Treatment Plant Blackboard Loganholme Site Visit Assessment)

PART A
Loganholme wastewater treatment plant treats wastewater from various locations. There
are wastewaters from residential areas, commercial, industrial and office combined with
groundwater. Wastewater itself is classified to three classifications; domestic wastewater,
industrial wastewater, and municipal wastewater. Domestic wastewater is usually come
from residential areas. It contains feces, urine, grey water from kitchen drainage and
others. Industrial wastewater is more dangerous, because sometimes, the wastewater
from the industry is not clearly treated, leaving liquid chemical to the environment. Last,
municipal wastewater comes from office, trade, hotels, restaurants and public areas.
There are 4 treatment stages in Loganholme wastewater treatment plant; pre-treatment,
primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of treatment. The complete process flow in the
diagram is described in appendix A.

Pre-treatment
The first treatment process is pre-treatment. It basically screen and filter the wastewater.
In this first step, the contaminants that usually filtered are large ones. For example;
rocks, plastics, clothes, etc. These large wastes could block pumps, treatment channels,
and damage the rest of the equipment parts. The contaminants that filtered will be
removed and dumped into the landfill. Another objective in this preliminary step is to
avoid the formation of H2S and other noxious gases. In result, Oxygen is supplied to the

pipeline to remove the gas. In addition, oxygen also will ensure the process to remain
aerobic.
Basic screening equipment is used by Loganholme wastewater treatment plant. They are
inlet works, grit tanks, wastewater screen, and grit conveyance system. To improve its
screening step, Loganholme wastewater treatment plant has a new inlet works installed
in the plant. Further information about this will be provided in part B.

Primary Treatment

In this treatment stage, grit and silt conduct further screening process to remove
suspended solids. After that, the wastewater will flow into settling tanks or clarifiers
where sludge is settled and then, scum will form on top of it after several hours. After this
stage, the floated scum and settled materials are removed and the wastewater will
continue to the secondary treatment. Generally, the primary treatment removes almost
25 to 50 percent of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and around 50 to 70 percent of the
suspended solids. (FAO Corporate Document Repository, 2015). Equalization of the
strength of wastewater can be obtained through primary treatment process as well.

Secondary Treatment
In this step, the sewage will be mix with bacteria and oxygen. The mixing process will
remove dissolved and suspended biological matter even more. When oxygen is supplied
to the process, the bacteria will digest the pollutant faster. The organic solids are
converted into coagulated suspended mass that is heavier and bulker. So in the end, it
will settle to the bottom of the tank. The wastewater will then continue to flow to the
sedimentation tank, called a secondary clarifier.
Secondary treatment system is classified as fixed-film or suspended-growth system. In
Loganholme wastewater treatment plant, suspended growth system, which includes
activated sludge, is involved. It has four chambers of oxidation ditch and uses aeration
spray to supply oxygen to the water. The water will come out from the oxidation ditch
and go to the 8 clarifiers. Under ideal condition, denitrification occurs which convert
ammonia to nitrate ultimately to nitrogen gas. The organic matter on a filter will undergo
change of character due to biological oxidation and nitrification.
The sludge from the clarifiers is transferred to the dewatering process, which is used to
remove the remaining water from the sludge. Loganholme wastewater treatment plant
use the belt pres system where the sludge from the oxidation ditch and clarifiers are
loaded onto the belt and press together to remove the water. Then the wastewater will
flow to the tertiary treatment process.

Tertiary Treatment

Tertiary treatment process will remove phosphorus and decrease the amount of BOD as
well as the suspended solids loading. Disinfection comes next after the removal, which is
to reduce the microorganism that has the potential to be harmful to human health.
During this process, chlorine will be put into the tank for disinfection. Loganholme
wastewater treatment plant has 8 tanks, which has the capacity of 920 kg in each tank.
During chlorination, liquid of chlorine is converted into gas and used as disinfectant of
wastewater later on.

PART B
New Inlet Works
The new inlet works is the first step of the waste treatment process at Loganholme WTTP.
The inlet works structure aims to screen and remove the majority of large waste particles
from the wastewater and can handle up to 8800 litres of wastewater per second.
The new inlet structure consists of four main components:

Fine Mechanical Screens

Grit Vortex
Grit and Rag Removal
Odour Control

Fine Mechanical Screens


As the wastewater enters the Loganholme WTTPs new inlet works it is diverted to one of
four pipes through one of the four fine mechanical screens. Typically two of these screens
are on at a time to allow for maintenance, mechanical cleaning and less wear and tear
to occur on the two screens which are not in use at the time. The screens at Loganholme
WTTP work for 24 hours at a time at approximately 1750 litres of wastewater per second
each but is capable of receiving and screening higher flows when necessary. The purpose
of the screens is to not allow large solids to pass through that could potentially block
pumps, pipes or channels further in the treatment process.
Grit Vortex
Following the screening, the screened influent wastewater then enters the grit vortex
which purpose is the removal of grit (heavy particles) from the raw sewage. The girt
vortex works by having the influent raw sewage enter tangentially into the upper
chamber of the vortex, where mechanical agitators create a vortex effect which causes
the grit to collect in the centre of the chamber because of the influence of centrifugal
force where they then settle to the bottom of the grit tank for removal, dewatering and
further washing. The wastewater then continues out of the grit tank free of most grit and
large solids for the next treatment process.
Grit and Rag Removal
There are two bins which collect the solids received during the inlet works process. The
blue bins collect the rag (solids removed by the screens) and the white bins collect the
grit (solids removed by the grit vortex tank). These solids are then transported by truck
offsite to landfill.
Odour Control
Dangerous foul gas in removed during the inlet works process through pipes to the odour
control facility which uses odour treatment filters to prevent dangerous/poisonous gases
like hydrogen sulphide escaping into the outside air as well as ensuring that the
Loganholme WTTP does not give off a foul odour to the surrounding area.

Oxidation Tanks/Ditches

The oxidation tanks are a process which biologically treats the raw sewage. The oxidation
tank is set up in multiple channels and uses long retention times to remove
biodegradable organic matter from the wastewater. Micro-organisms referred to as bugs
break down the raw sewage in an attempt to purify the water. Mounted aerators provide
the micro-organisms with oxygen which assist in microbial growth and achieving optimal
water velocity to ensure that the bugs bond to incoming wastewater. Near to the start
of the oxidation tank process ammonia is added to the liquor to nitrify the wastewater for
the bugs to devour the debris as they consume the nitrate. Towards the end of the
oxidation tank process the effluent is denitrified so it is able to be sent on to the
clarifiers.

Clarifier
The clarifier uses gravity sedimentation to allow the sludge to settle to the bottom of the
clarifier tank, meanwhile the clean water flows over the edge of the tanks to flow on to
receive a dosage of chlorine to adjust the waters PH value before entering the contact
tanks. The sludge when settled to the bottom of the tank is collected via pump, screened
again and returned to be broken down further in the oxidation ditches to minimise the
production of sludge by the WTTP.

Figure 2 Loganholme Wastewater Clarifiers (Image Courtesy of Google)

PART C
Loganholme WWTP Primary Sedimentation Tank Current
Situation
At the present Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plants primary sedimentation tank is
currently used only as an overflow tank as it is not required in the sewage treatment
process anymore. The primary reason for the tank being unused as a sedimentation tank
is that the majority of the large sewage waste particles are filtered by the 4 mesh
screens and grit vortex in the new inlet works, eliminating the need for the primary
sedimentation tank.

PART D
Foam/scum development usually occurs in the chlorination tanks and oxidation ditches. It
is caused by excessive growth of filamentous bacteria. Filamentous bacteria itself has
some characteristics (Griffiths & Stratton, 2010);
1. The foaming organisms have a hydrophobic cell surface, meaning that the outer
cell wall is greasy. It is composed of mycolic acids. Thats why they tend to be
water repellent and want to float on the surface.
2. The foaming organisms are growing on the fats, oils, and greases as their surface
mimics them. So they tend to grow really fast because the condition is very
suitable for them.
There are lots of problem concerning this development; first, it can increase the weight of
the solids carried by the secondary clarifier. Secondly, the digesters may overflow and
clogging of gas systems including pressure and vacuum relief valves. And possibly,
severe foaming conditions may occur in certain conditions.
To handle the foaming problems, it is necessary to prevent the biological foams reach the
secondary clarifiers. Therefore, there are two possible devices (Griffiths & Stratton, 2010)
to stop the foams by providing an underflow baffle on the outlet from the bioreactor to
the clarifiers.
The first one is developed by APE. This device is able to collect, raise and discharge the
scum because it is equipped with buckets similar to the surface skimmers on primary
sedimentation tanks. The second one is developed in Germany. It uses a inclined gravity
drainage deck with a cloth belt to collect, raise and discharge the scum.

The scum can later be dumped into landfill.

Bibliography
FAO Corporate Document Repository. (2015). Wastewater Treatment. (N. R. Department,
Producer) Retrieved 10 10, 2015, from Wastewater Treatment and Use in
Agriculture: http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0551e/t0551e05.htm
Griffiths, P., & Stratton, H. (2010, June 22 to 24). Foaming Organisms in Sewage
Treatment - Friend of Foe: Victim of Bad Publicity. Retrieved October 12, 2015,
from Water Industry Operators Association of Australia:
http://www.wioa.org.au/conference_papers/10_qld/documents/petergriffiths.pdf

Raw
Sewage

Appendix A

Pre
And
Primary
Treatment

Inlet
Works
Air
Blower

Oxidation Ditch

Secondary
Treatment

RAS

Clarifiers
To Landfill
Beneficial
Use

Tertiary
Treatment

Sludge
Dewatering
and
Disposal

Logan River

Chlorination