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3. Enlist type of grit chamber. Explain horizontal flow grit chamber.

Wastewater contained numerous types of constituents as the result of both domestic

and industrial usage. Some of the constituents in wastewater includes chemical constituents
such as carbohydrates, sulfur, and pesticides whereas biological constituents such as viruses
and animals. Wastewater also consists of suspended solids that require physical treatment
process in order to be removed. The suspended solids in wastewater can lead to equipment
damage in wastewater treatment plant (ETP) if its left untreated. The common solids found in
wastewater are tree branches, plastic bottles, and grits.

The typical grits in wastewater consists of suspended particles such as sand, gravel,
cinders, or other heavy solids with specific gravity greater than the organic solids in water. In
physical unit process of wastewater treatment, grit removal is the second step after screening
process. Grits such as sand and gravel is removed during this step in order prevent formation
of deposits on aeration tanks, frequency of the need to clean digester and to prevent abrasions
on the equipment. Separate removal of suspended inorganic solids in grit chamber and
suspended organic solids in primary sedimentation tank is necessary due to different nature
and mode of disposal of these solids. Grit can be disposed off after washing, to remove higher
size organic matter settled along with grit particles; whereas, the suspended solids settled in
primary sedimentation tank, being organic matter, requires further treatment before disposal.
This is usually limited to municipal wastewater and generally not required for industrial
effluent treatment plant, except some industrial wastewaters, which may have grit.

The assumption that was done while designing grit removal systems is that the size
inorganic settleable solids range from 0.0050 to 1.0 mm with characteristics similar to clean,
spherical silica sand with specific gravity of 2.65 and particle size larger than 0.210 mm. The
grit removed from wastewater is generally inert and relatively dry material with moisture
content ranging from 13 to 65 percent and volatile content of 1 to 56 percent.
Grit separators are used to removed use typically located after the bar screens and before the
primary sedimentation. The use of comminution equipment will required the grit chamber to
be placed upstream to reduce the wear on cutting blades. The three general types of grit
separators for wastewater are as follows:
1. Horizontal-Flow Grit Chambers
a. Rectangular /
b. Square Configuration
2. Aerated Grit Chambers

Figure 1: Aerated grit chamber (Litz & Taylor, 2000).

Aerated grit chamber consists of an aeration tank, which is designed to create a spiral
flow of wastewater as it moves through the chamber. With the velocity created from
the movement of water, a certain particle sized grit will settled at the bottom. A well-
designed system should have the incoming velocity travelling at a precise speed in
order to avoid the grit exiting out of the chamber with the wastewater as well. A trial
and error observation can be carried out to determine the right adjustment on the
feeding of air to the system. Similar like a horizontal flow type, the accumulated
particles which settled at the bottom can then be removed using conveyor buckets.

3. Vortex Grit Chambers.

A vortex type grit chamber operates on similar principal and basically it has a
cylindrical tank, which is designed to create a vortex flow pattern. In order to achieve
this, wastewater basically has to enter the chamber tangentially and as such a
centrifugal force will ensure that the grit is taken out.
Figure 2: MECTAN Vortex Grit Chamber (Water Online, n.d.).


Figure 3: Horizontal flow grit chamber diagram (Civil Digital, n.d.)

Figure 4: Horizontal flow grit chamber compartments (Nptel, 2017).

1. Zone – I: Inlet zone: This zone distributes the incoming wastewater uniformly to
entire cross section of the grit chamber.
2. Zone – II: Outlet zone: This zone collects the wastewater after grit removal.
3. Zone – III: Settling zone: In this zone settling of grit material occurs.
4. Zone – IV: Sludge zone: This is a zone where settled grit accumulates.
5. L – Length of the settling zone
6. H – Depth of the settling zone
7. v – Horizontal velocity of wastewater

The rectangular and square horizontal flow grit chambers have been used for many
years although aerated and vortex grit chambers are more favored for the installation of new
chambers. Rectangular horizontal flow grit chamber is design in order the lightest particles of
depositable grits are able to reach the bed of the channel prior to its outlet end. As grit
chamber is located after the screening process, the grit chambers will remove all the grits that
is retained on the mesh of the screen. The typical size of the mesh is 0.21mm. The settling
velocity will influence the length of the channel. The grit collected by the chambers are
typically removed using conveyor with scrapers, buckets or plows. Grit chambers are clean
manually in small wastewater treatment plant.

Another type of horizontal flow grit is the square horizontal flow grit. Wastewater
flowing into the square horizontal flow grit will be distributed across the chamber with the aid
of series of vanes or gates while flowing in a straight line. At least two units for square
chamber is needed to ensure high efficiency. The overflow rates of the chamber depend on
the size of the particle and temperature of the water. Grit with the size of 0.15 mm has the
potential to be removed with efficiency of 95%. Rotating raking technique is used to remove
the solid collected Cyclone degritter may be used to separate remaining organic material and
concentrate the grit.
4. Write short note on Biological Unit Processes.

The wastewater consists of 99.9% water by weight, where the remaining 0.1% is
suspended or dissolved material. This solid material is a mixture of organic and inorganic
constituents and often contains biodegradable constituents that cannot be remove through
primary treatment. The large amounts of dissolved and colloidal material remained after
screening is then remove biologically in secondary treatment. The particles are converted into
gases and the biological cell tissues are removed by settling or another solid separation
process by using naturally occurring microorganisms that lead to the purification of water.
The microorganisms are bacteria that form the basic trophic level (the level of an organism is
the position it occupies in a food chain) of the food chain inside the bioreactor. The dissolved
organic matters are utilized by microorganisms to be use as food. Oxygen and food in the
form of settled wastewater are supplied to the microorganisms in order for the biological
oxidation process of dissolved organic matter to be maintained. The settled biomass is
removed through sedimentation. This secondary sedimentation is basically similar to primary
sedimentation except that the sludge contains bacterial cells rather than fecal solids.


Figure 5: The typical aerobic system (oxidation pond) (Samer, 2015).

Aeration has been used to remove trace organic volatile compounds (VOCs) in water.
It has also been employed to transfer a substance, such as oxygen, from air or a gas phase into
water in a process called gas adsorption or oxidation. Aeration also provides the removal of
dissolved gases, such as CO2 and H2S. NH3 are removed from wastewater through air
stripping. Aerobic treatment with biowastes is effective in reducing harmful gaseous
emissions as greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O) and ammonia.
Another aerobic process is oxidation ponds are aerobic systems where the oxygen
required by the heterotrophic bacteria. A heterotroph is an organism that cannot fix carbon
and uses organic carbon for growth is provided not only by transfer from the atmosphere but
also by photosynthetic algae. The algae are restricted to the euphotic zone (sunlight zone),
which is often only a few centimeters deep. Ponds are constructed to a depth of between 1.2
and 1.8 m to ensure maximum penetration of sunlight, and appear dark green in color due to
dense algal development. In oxidation ponds, the algae use the inorganic compounds (N, P,
CO2) released by aerobic bacteria for growth using sunlight for energy. The release of oxygen
into the solution that in turn is utilized by the bacteria, completing the symbiotic cycle
(Samer, 2015) .


The wastewater rich with biodegradable organic matter with BOD more than 500 mg
are treated anaerobically. In comparison anaerobic process is done without oxygen and
anaerobic process is preferred as aerobic process is costly and difficult for wastewater with
high content of biodegradable organic matter. These wastewater are usually discharged from
agricultural and food processing industries. Few advantages of anaerobic process includes
elevated levels of purification, aptitude to handle high organic loads, generating small
amounts of sludges that are usually very stable, and production of methane (inert combustible
gas) as end-product. Organic materials are degraded into basic constituents, finally to
methane gas under the absence of an electron acceptor such as oxygen

Figure 6: The typical anaerobic digester; a) Completely mixed anaerobic disgeter, b)

UASB reactpr, c) AFB or EGSB reactor, D) Upflow AF (Samer, 2015).

Lagoon is another method to purify wastewater before it is being discharge or reuse.

It is an natural ecological treatment system especially for for tropical areas where there is a
year round growing season and high incidence of solar irradiation. The nutrients in
wastewater are reduced using various micoorganisms whereby pathogens can be effectively
removed by aeration or exposure to sunlight. Lagoons are easy and inexpensive to construct
and operate especially for readily available location. Lagoons can protect the main freshwater
body by retaining pollutants. There four type of lagoon used in wastewater industry such as
the anaerobic, facultative, maturation and aerated lagoons.

Anaerobic lagoons are usually used for treatment of distillery and industrial wastes;
for example, for the treatment of distillery wastewater in India. Facultative lagoons are
usually used for removing toxic wastes. They utilise a relationship between bacteria and
algae, and a balance between aerobic and anaerobic conditions to promote uptake of such
chemicals. Maturation lagoons use micro algae and/or aquatic plants for wastewater
treatment, especially for nitrogen removal. Aerated lagoons are an extended aeration,
activated sludge process without sludge recycling. These systems usually require deeper
stabilization ponds than the other types of lagoons with depths varying from 3 m to 5 m. This
process is usually used for treating wastewater from both agricultural and industrial sources.
It is also used for removal of nitrogen fromchemically contaminated wastewaters (United
Nations Environmetal Programme, n.d.).

Figure 6: Anaerobic lagoon for wastewater treatment (Samer, 2015).

11. Write short note on Septic Tank.

Figure 4: The flow of wastewater in a septic tank

The domestic or residential wastewater is treated using septic tank. It is the most
common treatment unit for grey water and blackwater with a high content of settleable solids,
typically for effluent from domestic sources, but also suitable for other wastewater of similar
properties.. The concept of septic tank can be compared to the concept of sedimentation tank
that can be either in the shape of rectangular or cylindrical where solids will be remove from
the wastewater. Septic tanks should be vented for controlled release of odorous and
potentially harmful gases.

Onsite infiltration should not be used if the septic tank are located at densely
populated area, otherwise, the ground will become oversaturated and contaminated, and
wastewater may rise up to the surface, posing a serious health risk. Instead, the septic tanks
should be connected to some type of Conveyance technology through which the effluent is
transported to a subsequent Treatment or Disposal site such as wetlands. Even though septic
tanks are watertight, it is not recommended to construct them in areas with high groundwater
tables or where there is frequent flooding.

The slow moving of wastewater provide time for the settleable solids to settle to the
bottom of the tank while the floatable solids such as fats, oil, and greases rise to the top. The
retention time should be 48 hours to achieve moderate treatment. The removal and reduction
of solids are done through settling and anaerobic processes. The recommended detention time
for domestic wastewater is at least 24 hours to allow the solids to be settle completely. The
settled solids will degrade anaerobically over period of time where anaerobic bacteria and
microorganisms start to digest the settled sludge transforming it into CO2 and CH4 (biogas)
and some heat. The treatment is optimised by a quick and intensive contact between the new
inflow and old sludge, particularly when the flow is turbulent. The gases produced during
anaerobic digestion must be allowed to escape. If the drainage system of the house or other
building has a ventilation pipe at the upper end, gases can escape from the septic tank along
the drains. If the drainage system is not ventilated, a screened vent pipe should be provided
from the septic tank itself.

The rate of accumulation is faster than the rate of decomposition, and the
accumulated sludge and scum must be periodically removed. Decomposition of solids in tank
occur up to 50% while the remaining solids will accumulate and to be manually remove from
the septic tank and transported via a sewer to a centralised treatment plant. Every 5-7 years,
the tanks are inspected and the remains of undecompose solids are removed with licenses
pumper (Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, n.d.).

The effluent of the septic tank must be dispersed by using a Soak Pit, evapo-
transpiration mound or Leach Field, or transported to another treatment technology via a
Solids-Free Sewer, simplified sewer or solids-free sewer. Sludge must be emptied regularly
and treated for safe disposal or reuse. It can be dried in planted or unplanted drying beds,
settling or thickening ponds. If the sludge is dried or composted, it can be applied in
agriculture as valuable nutrient-rich soil amendment. There exist also several new processes
to produce fertilizer from sludge.

Generally, the removal of 50% of solids, 30 to 40% of BOD and a removal of E. coli
can be expected in a well-designed and maintained septic tank, although efficiencies vary
greatly depending on operation and maintenance and climatic conditions. A septic tank
should have at least two chambers made out of concrete or brick work. Pre-fabricated
concrete rings, PVC or fibreglass septic tanks are also available and may be less expensive in
some contexts. The first chamber should be at least 50% of the total length and when there are
only two chambers, it should be two thirds of the total length. Most of the solids settle out in
the first chamber. The baffle, or the separation between the chambers, is to prevent scum and
solids from escaping with the effluent. A T-shaped outlet pipe, the lower arm of which dives
30 cm below water level, further reduces the scum and solids that are discharged.


The design of a septic tank depends on the number of users, the amount of water used
per capita, the average annual temperature, the desludging frequency and the characteristics
of the wastewater. Normally, the chambers are all of the same depth (between 1.5 to 2.5 m),
but sometimes the first chamber is made deeper as the others. Approximately 80 to 100 L
should be provided per domestic user, but most countries provide a national standard for tank
volume per domestic user (Sustainable Sanitation and Waste Management, n.d.).

Civil Digital. (n.d.). What are Grit chambers, Classification & Disposal of Grit, Skimming
Tanks. Retrieved from
Litz, C., & Taylor, R. (2000). Wastewater Technology Fact Sheet. Environmental Protection,
1–7. 832-F-99-062
Nptel. (2017). Module 15 : Grit Chamber Lecture 19 : Grit Chamber. Nptel, 1–8. Retrieved
Samer, M. (2015). Biological and Chemical Wastewater Treatment Processes. Wastewater
Treatment Engineering, 1–50.
Sustainable Sanitation and Waste Management. (n.d.). Septic Tank. Retrieved from
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. (n.d.). On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSF)-Site Sewage
Facilities (OSSF). Retrieved from
United Nations Environmetal Programme. (n.d.). 2.5 Wastewater Treatment Using Lagoons.
Retrieved from
Water Online. (n.d.). MECTAN® Induced Vortex Grit Chamber. Retrieved from