You are on page 1of 5

Espiritu,Charlene M.

I. Preliminary Treatment Process

It consists of removal of floating material (like dead animals, tree branches, papers, plastics, wood pieces,
vegetables peels etc) and also the heavy settleable inorganic solids (grit etc). Preliminary treatment of
wastewater includes:
• Screening
• Grit Removal
The objective of preliminary treatment is only the removal of coarse solids.

A. Screening
The Bar Screen catches large objects that have gotten into sewer
system such as bricks, bottles, pieces of wood, etc. Screening is the first thing
to happen to wastewater as it enters the plant is for it to pass through bar
screens (or bar racks). These remove objects in the wastewater that are large
enough to be caught in a series of screens. Bar racks are used to protect
pumps, valves, pipelines etc. from damage or clogging by rags and large
objects. In screening material with dimensions larger than the spaces
between the bars is removed. There are coarse,medium, and fine
screens,depending on the spacing between bars. The removal of the retained
material can be manual or mehanised.
The main objectives of the removal of coarse solids are:

 Protection of the wastewater transport devices (pumps and piping)

 Protection of the subsequent treatment units
 Protection of the receiving bodies

Screenings may be disposed or removed by

• Hauling to disposal areas such as landfill, (the most commonly used)
• Burial on the plant site, for small installation only
• Incineration
• As municipal solid wastes, or
• Discharged to grinders or mascerators where they are ground and returned to the

B. Grit Removal
Grit is the term used for small, but dense material such as sand, dirt, or
broken glass. If not removed separately grit can cause wear and damage
to mechanical devices in a treatment plant. There are several methods to
remove grit, though the most common is to send it through a channel
where the speed of the water is such that the grit settles and can be
removed, while the the rest of the water can flow on to further treatment.
Like the bar screen channels, there are always two of these channels,
allowing for one to be cleaned or repaired while the other remains in use.
The basic purposes of grit removal are:
 To avoid abrasion of the equipment and piping
 To eliminate or reduce the possibility of obstructions in piping,tanks, orifices, siphons, etc.
 To facilitate the transportation of the liquid, principally the transfer of the sludge in its
various phases.

Grit chambers may be classified into

o Horizontal-flow with square or rectangular section

o Aerated, and
o Vortex-type
a. The horizontal-flow grit chamber
 It has the flow passing through the chamber in a horizontal direction
 It has a series of influent distribution vanes or gates and a weir section at the effluent
 The vanes or gates distribute the influent over the cross section of the tank.
 The distributed wastewater flows in straight lines across the tank
 The effluent overflows the weir in a free discharge.

b. The aerated grit chamber

It has a spiral-flow aeration tank. The spiral velocity is induced and controlled by the tank
dimensions as well as the amount of air supplied to the unit.

Airflow is generated by a blower and is introduced into the Aerated Grit Chamber via a tube which
is located near the bottom of the chamber, thereby creating a circular or toroidal flow pattern in
the wastewater. The continuous rising flow deflects off an energy-recovery baffle at the liquid
surface. This flow pattern causes the grit to settle to the bottom of the chamber while keeping
lighter organic material in suspension to be processed further downstream. Once the grit has
settled, either a recessed-impeller grit pump or, more commonly, an air-lift pump is used to
remove the grit slurry and send it on for dewatering.

c. The vortex-type grit chamber

 It uses a cylindrical tank
 The flow enter the tank tangentially to create a vortex-flow pattern
 The grits are separated by centrifugal and gravitational forces

A Vortex Grit Chamber usually follows screening equipment. The screened influent enters
tangentially and flows around the upper chamber. Adjustable, rotating paddles augment the spiraling flow
to create a mechanically induced vortex which settles the grit, transports it to the center opening of the
fixed floor plate for collection in the lower chamber, and lifts and returns the lighter organic particles to
the main flow. The grit solids are removed from the lower chamber by an air lift or recessed impeller
pump for further washing and dewatering.

II. Primary Treatment Process

It involves sedimentation of solid waste within the water. This is done after filtering out larger
contaminants within the water. Wastewater is passed through several tanks and filters that
separate water from contaminants. The resulting “sludge” is then fed into a digester, in which
further processing takes place. This primary batch of sludge contains nearly 50% of
suspendedsolids within wastewater. Primary treatment aims at removing settleable solids
and part of the organic matter. Physical pollutant removal mechanisms are predominant in

this level.

 The minimum depth of sedimentation tanks is generally 3.0 m or 10 ft.

 The minimum diameter of a circular sedimentation tank is 6.0 m or 20 ft.
 The length-to width ratio of rectangular sedimentation tanks is 5:1.

Primary treatment aims at the removal of:

 settlleable suspended solids
 floating solids

After passing the preliminary treatment units, sewage still contains non-coarse suspended
solids,which can be partially removed in sedimentation units. A significant part of these suspended
solids is comprised of organic matter in suspension. In this way, its removal by simple processes such as
sedimentation implies a reduction in the BOD load directed to the secondary treatment, where its
removal is more expensive.
The sedimentation tanks can be circular or rectangular. Sewage flows slowly through the
sedimentation tanks, allowing the suspended solids with a greater density than the surrounding liquid to
slowly settle to the bottom. The mass of solids accumulated in the bottom is called raw primary sludge.
This sludge is removed through a single pipe in small sized tanks or through mechanical scrapers and
pumps in larger tanks. Floating material, such as grease and oil, tends to have a lower density than the
surrounding liquid and rise to the surface of the sedimentation tanks, where they are collected and
removed from the tank for subsequent treatment.
The effciency of primary treatment in the removal of suspended solids, and as result, BOD, may be
enhanced by the addition of coagulants. This is called advanced primary trearment or chemically
enhanced primary treatment (CEPT).
Coagulants may be aluminium sulphate, ferric chloride or other, aided or not by a polymer.
Phosphorus may be also removed by precipitation. More sludge is formed, resulting from the higher
amount of Solids removed from the liquid and from the chemical products added. The primary sludge
may be digested by conventional digesters, but in some cases it may also be stabilised by lime
(simplifying the fiowsheet, but further increasing the amount of sludge to be disposed of ).


What is the existing situation?

In the Philippines, only 10% of wastewater is treated while 58% of the groundwater is contaminated;

• Only 5% of the total population is connected to a sewer network. The vast majority uses flush toilets
connected to septic tanks;

• Since sludge treatment and disposal facilities are rare, domestic wastewater is discharged without

• According to the UNIDO study, approximately 2,000 cubic meters of solvent wastes, 22,000 tons of
heavy metals, infectious wastes, biological sludge, lubricants, and intractable wastes, as well as 25 million
cubic meters of acid/alkaline liquid wastes are improperly disposed of annually in Metro Manila alone.

• Data from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Philippines showed that out of the 127
freshwater bodies being sampled, 47% percent were found to have good water quality. However, 40% of
those sampled were found to have only fair water quality, while 13% showed poor water quality.

• About 4,200 people die each year due to contaminated drinking water.

•Economic losses because of poor sanitation – Php 78 billion annually

• Under the Beach Ecowatch Program of the DENREMB, 75 frequently visited beaches by both local and
foreign tourists are being monitored; only 21 passed the DENR Standards while 51 failed and 3 are under

• Under the DENR-EMB’s Tapwatch Program, it was determined that the water from 41% of the total
sites/wells tested for potability were found no longer potable.