Project Report on Extended Aeration and Step Aeration

Completed under the guidance of Dr.Jasmeet Kaur (Professor of S.G.T.B Khalsa College)

Submitted by: Hakim Asif Haider Life Science



No significant achievement can be a solo performance especially when starting a project from ground up. This project on “Extended Aeration and Step Aeration” has by no means been an exception. Apart from my effort, the success of this project depends largely on the encouragement and guidelines of many others. I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the people who have been instrumental in the successful completion of this project. I would like to show my greatest appreciation to Dr. Jasmeet Kaur, Professor, S.G.T.B Khalsa College. I can’t thank you enough for your tremendous support and help. I feel motivated and encouraged every time we attend your class. Without your encouragement and guidance this project would not have materialized. The guidance and support received from our parents for the success of the project. We are grateful for their constant support and help.


Table of Contents
1. Acknowledgement………………………………… 2 2. Introduction………………………………………...4 3. Definition of Aeration……………………………...8 4. Purpose Of Aeration………………………………...9 5. Aeration in General………………………………..10 6. Aeration in History around the World……………..12 a) Dr. Hales...........................................................12 b) Montbruel and Ferrand's Project.....................13 c) Quai des Celestin, Paris....................................13 d) Britain...............................................................14 e) Scotland............................................................16 f) Russia................................................................16 g) Aeration in America .........................................18
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Elmira, N.Y. Water Works Company (1861)...............18 Lawrence, Massachusetts (1875)..................................18 Utica, N.Y. Water Works Company (1890)..................19 Hayat Patents........................................................................21 Leed Patents..........................................................................22 Winchester Kentucky (1900)...........................................24 South Norwalk, Connecticut (1940)...............................24


7. Early Apparatus used for Aeration......................25 8. Methods of Aeration..............................................26 9. Mechanical Equipment Used In Aeration...........27 10) Use of Aeration....................................................28 11) Conclusion............................................................30 12) Extended Aeration...............................................31
A. Comparison between Extended aeration and Conventional Activated Sludge Process..............32 B. Application....................................................................33

13) Step Aeration..........................................................35 14) Bibliography...........................................................37


II. Introduction
Water aerated naturally by flowing over sandy or pebbly beds or rocky falls has been acclaimed by writers of all ages and countries. Only a few of these enthusiasts realized that the waters they so highly praised were clear, bright, sparkling, tasteless and odorless when they reached the streams. In the eighteenth century, artificial aeration was directed at making up the oxygen deficiencies of distilled water and of rain water that had been stored up in household cisterns. Toward the end of the eighteenth century and early into the next century, aeration was applied to a few public water supplies carrying decomposed vegetable or animal matter. Not until the last half of the nineteenth century did aeration become a marked feature of municipal supplies. Even then, the number of applications was small and pertained chiefly to stored

surface waters subject to tastes and odors from algae growths. In this period, aeration was applied here and there, generally to ground waters, for the removal of iron, and then of manganese, and also to eliminate malodorous gases from sulfur bearing ground waters.


In its broadest sense, aeration is the process by which the area of contact between water and air is increased, either by natural methods or by mechanical devices. Ordinary usage in water works practice has however, been given the term in the more limited sense referring specifically to use of mechanical devices or procedures. In this limited sense aeration clearly defines itself as a method of treatment rather than merely a modification of natural conditions at the source of supply. The terms 'natural aeration` or 'reaeration` are used to represent no mechanical procedures or slower aeration of large bodies of water under natural conditions. In the progress of water from source to consumer, aeration is one of the most elemental techniques frequently employed in the improvement of the physical and chemical characteristics of water.



As suggested, the basic purpose of aeration is the improvement of the physical and chemical

characteristics of waters for public supply. Primarily, this improvement involves the reduction of

objectionable tastes and odours, but some additional benefits of aeration, as a preliminary step to other purification processes have also been noted. In the cool stagnant bottoms of lakes and reservoirs during late summer and late winter, in deep wells and in the dry-weather flow of some sluggish rivers are found natural waters which are so deficient in oxygen that they are objectionable in both taste and odour. Aeration of such waters improves their taste by supplying the deficient oxygen, rescuing the free carbon dioxide and eliminating much of the hydrogen sulphide and other odorous constituents present. Removal of iron and manganese from such oxygen deficient waters also

usually requires aeration as an initial step. This initial step allows for the lower oxides of these minerals that are dissolved in the water and combined with carbon dioxide to be converted to higher insoluble oxides and in turn removed by subsequent sedimentation, contact or filtration.



The general idea behind aeration is to bring the water into intimate contact with the air. Either the water may be discharged into free air or the air may be forced into a body of water. Apparatus used includes: low cascades, multiple jet fountains throwing water to considerable heights, multitudinous spray nozzles discharging not far above the surface of a reservoir, superimposed trays or shelves, submerged perforated pipes, and porous tubes and plates. Motivation has been by gravity head for water, pumping head for water and pumping head for

air. Chronologically, working installations consisted, first, of cascades and gravity operated multiple-jet fountains, and then forced aeration for a few years of commercial exploitation, followed by low-throwing spray nozzles, and finally, diffusion of air through porous tubes and plates in water.

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II. Aeration in History around the World

Obsessed by the notion that removal of organic matter was the chief end and aim of aeration, many inventors and promoters centered their energies there. Until near the close of the nineteenth century, confidence in the self purification of rivers continued widespread. After two thousand years of recognition of the good effects on water from natural aeration, experiments on artificial aeration were reported. The first of these that has been found was in a paper on blowing showers of air through water being distilled, read by Dr. Stephen Hales on December 18, 1755.

For his experiments, Hales used a " Tin or Copper Airbox" 6 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches apart. Rising from this was an air supply pipe to which was attached a leather hose connected with "the nose of Bellows" used to force in air. Successful experiments with this

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device on milk and water were reported in another paper read before the Royal Society.



In contrast with the Hales method of blowing air through water was the method of dropping water through the air, put into use a little earlier. Post aeration in a reservoir exposed to a current of air was included in Montbruel and Ferrand's project of 1763-1764 to supply Parisians with filtered water taken from the Seine above sources of pollution. 3)

At the Quai des Celestin water treatment plant, Paris, put in use, by Happey in 1806, it is stated by Dunglinson that after the water had been settled, and then filtered twice; it was aerated by being dropped like rain from the bottom of the second filters into Clearwater tanks.
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Of the many British patents on aeration taken out in the nineteenth century, the first was granted February 8, 1812, to Robert Dickinson and Henry Maudslay on “a process for sweetening water and other liquids." The process consisted of "simply of forcing a stream or streams of air through the foul or tainted water." A bellows or preferably a pump could be used. In this setup, the air is being forced to the bottom of a water cask through a tube or hose ending in a tube of iron or copper, perforated with small holes "to divide the air into numerous small streams, that the surface of water brought into contact with the air may be greater." The effect of the air is "that the offensive gas held in solution will be expelled from the water in a short time; after which the water should be left at rest for a short time, to allow its insoluble purities to subside. Both the apparatus and process are substantially the same in principle as those described in 1755 by Dr. Hales and

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patented again and again in England and America during the nineteenth century. Four other British patents on aerating fresh water, two of which were in general principle anticipations of American patents or practices, included one by Theodore Cotelle (December 1, 1838), and one by Richard Johnson (on September 5, 1857). Cotelle's paper covered details of admitting air to a filter through tubes in the sides of the container. Johnson's paper covered dropping water for some distance in "jets, sheets or streams" upon a filter of broken slate, stone or other material so contact with atmospheric oxygen would cause "mineral particles held in solution by carbonic gas" to precipitate on the surface of the bed.

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The earliest known of the cascade type of aerator, working in series, was put into use in 1848 by the Gorbals Gravitation Water Co. to supply water to a district afterwards annexed to Glasgow, Scotland. Water from a large settling reservoir cascaded into a basin and from it into the first of three filters, arranged in steps. Similarly there was a cascade between the first and second filters, the second and third filters and the third and last filter and a clear water reservoir.



In Russia, a dozen years later, an aerator was included in a water treatment plant built to supply a government mill on the River Neva at St. Petersburg. The contract to build the plant included pumps, settling reservoirs, an aerator and sand filters. The strainer was made up of
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four troughs arranged in the form of steps. Each of these was divided longitudinally that did not reach the bottom, into two compartments, the inner one of which was covered by wire gauze, and received the water as it fell from the steps above, and the outer of which contained the horizontal tipped orifices through which the water escaped as it flowed to the step below. Each step was 2 feet high. The lowest step was superposed to one of four sand and gravel filter tanks. After passing downward through filter tanks, the filtered water flowed to deep wells in which it was stored for use. The rated capacity of the treatment plant was 100,000 cubic feet in 10 hours or about 750,000 gallons. Observations on that plant showed that water entered the first step in a perfect lucid state, but before it has passed through two sheets of gauze it became turbid, and deposited black scum on the wire which required constant cleaning, so great was the quanitity of the deposit. In the first filter tank, the water was partially covered with black scum or froth, sometimes more than an inch in thickness, and
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thin scum, having a metallic lustre, appeared on the second reservoir.


Aeration In America


The first known aerator on an American water supply was a part of works built between 1860 and 1861 by the Elmira, N.Y. Water Works Company. In this process, water from an impounding reservoir was admitted to a distributing reservoir through a fountain discharging trough which contained a cluster of holes for aerating and purifying. 2) LAWRENCE, MASSACHUSETTS (1875) The next American aerator of record was of the single cascade type. It was part of the water works of Lawrence Massachusetts, completed in 1875. Water from the Merrimac River or an adjacent filter gallery was discharged from the force main through a bell17 | P a g e

shaped mouth onto a stone platform from which it fell over six granite steps, each 10 feet wide into the reservoir. 3) UTICA, N.Y. WATER WORKS CO. (1890) The most elaborate of the early American fountain aerators was one put into use October 26, 1890, by the Utica, NY, Water Works Company. Seventy-six vertical pipes, 1 foot above high water level, discharged into a distributing reservoir. This reservoir was fed from another, under a 44 foot head when the upper reservoir was full. The risers were fed from 12 inch pipe laid in a quadrangle formed on each side by three 12 foot lengths of cast iron pipe joined by quarter bends. This square was laid on the bottom of the reservoir in water 10 feet deep. Attached directly to this quadrangular manifold were 71, 2 inch vertical pipes about 2 feet apart. Five branch pipes led to risers. Of these, four had diameters of 2 inches and led one from each corner of the square. The caps of the 76 risers were perforated to give
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orifices of the following diameters: 16, 1 inch; 16, 3/4 inch; 16, 5/8 inch; 56, 1/2 inch; 80, 1/4 inch; and 52,1/8 inch. The jets converged toward the centre of the fountain. Their total discharge capacity was 4000 gallons per minute. By means of screw joints the upper part of each riser could be removed to avoid ice damage. When the Utica aerator was installed, it was designed to eliminate objectionable tastes and odours. When installed, the water supply was impounded in three reservoirs from which it passes by gravity to the distribution system. With the growth of the city the capacity of the aerator became inadequate, reservoirs were build at a higher level and the aerator was dismantled approximately 1902.

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4) HYATT PATENT Nearly all the aerators thus described worked under gravity heads and discharged water into the air. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, Professor Albert R. Leeds and John W. Hyatt patented forced aeration by means of which air or oxygen was discharged into water. In Hyatt's first patent he said by passing the combined water and air through a filter the particles of filtering material would finely subdivide the air and enhance the action. When the air and water were thus combined, the water would absorb the oxygen of the air and the impurities in the water would be consumed or rendered inert. In one of his devices, water was to be passed down through an inverted cone-shaped vessel pierced with holes articulated above with a group of Sprengel air pumps. Water falling through these induction tubes was to suck in air and mingle it with the water. To mix the air and water still more, the combined fluid was to be passed over one or more such devices as small stones, horizontal perforated plates or baffles
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attached to the inside of the left arm of the U-tube containing the Sprengel pumps. The water was then to be passed up through the right arm of the U-tube, which might also be circumvented into the top of the filter. In a trade catalogue of 1886 Hyatt stated that his aerating system combined 25 percent or more of atmospheric air with water under static pressure, oxidizing the impurities, destroying the conditions favourable to germ propagation, and so regenerating the water that it will keep sweet much longer in pipes and reservoirs than water not so treated. 5) LEEDS PATENT A plant for aeration by compressed air in accordance with the Leeds patent was put into operation on the water works of Norfolk, Virginia in July of 1888. It was installed by the National Water Purifying Company in place of filters that had been recommended. The water supply was from impounding reservoirs, the bottoms of which were not stripped before flooded. When the
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reservoirs were drawn down, vegetable growths occurred, followed by tastes and odours. Aeration helped to eliminate the odours in the water. As first operated compressed air was delivered through outlets from a pipe paralleling the inside of the reservoir. The installation consisted of an air pressure and perforated pipe system which aerated the water in the pump suction and basin. It was operated intermittently until 1896 when a connection was made from the compressor to the delivery main. Writing in 1895, Professor Leeds stated that on his recommendation combined aeration and filtration was adopted in 1887 for the 2 million gallon per day water supply in Long Branch. The object of aeration there was to charge the water itself with oxygen to maximum then allow this oxygenated water to purify the filter bed. The Hyatt filters of 1888 were operated by gravity up until the year 1929, when a clear water basin was installed.

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6) WINCHESTER, KENTUCKY (1900) Alternate sprays and cascades produced by discharging water over the edge of plain pans and through perforated pans, superimposed, were produced by an aerator put into use at Winchester, Kentucky. late in 1900. It was equipped with a ball float and cone adjustor.

7) SOUTH NORWALK, CONNECTICUT (1940) At South Norwalk, Connecticut, double aeration and double filtration were put into use to treat impounded surface water subject to organic growths and tastes and odours. Water was aerated before and after filtration. Both aerators and first filters were still being used in early 1940 but the final filter had been converted into a clear water basin.

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III. Early Apparatus Used For Aeration 1) Aer-O-Mix
The apparatus known as the Aer-O-Mix was first used in January 1929. The water flows into the tank surrounding the Aer-o-mix head, enters the head through the apertures in the perimeter, then passes downward through the annular throat and past the lower ends of the multiple tubes in the head, drawing bubbles of air down through these tubes, by aspiration. The mixture of water and bubbles passes downward through the retention pipe, through the U turn and up again and through a discharge plate where the air is released. A modification of this design is used where there is not sufficient head for the water to flow through the aerator by gravity. In that case a vertical motor is mounted above the head, its shaft extending downward through the centre of the head, being connected to an impeller in
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the top of the retention tube. The action of the impeller forces the water down through the tube.

IV) Methods of Aeration

From the examples of various aeration plants provided above, we can conclude that there are several different ways in which aeration can proceed. By causing the water to flow by gravity down an arrangement of steps, thus splashing and breaking up into films and drops; by causing it to flow downward through a vertically arranged series of trays containing beds of coke or gravel, it being pumped to the utmost tray; by throwing it into the air in a spray; and by blowing or drawing air bubbles through it, is some of the ways to bring the water into contact with the air. Pumping by air lift also has a partial aerating effect.

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V) Mechanical Equipment Used in Aeration After discussing several accomplishments in the history of aeration, we can address the topic of present day mechanical equipment for aeration. It can be classified, for convenience into two basic categories, the diffusion type and the waterfall type. In the choice between waterfall and diffusion types of aerator units, theory strongly favours the latter. A diffusion unit wherein finely divided air bubbles are introduced over the bottom of a basin, through which water is flowing, provides most adequately for all the factors that control the efficiency of aeration. Some authorities feel that the principal advantage arises from the fact that the velocity of bubbles ascending through the water is much lower than the velocity of free falling drops of water, thus affording a longer period of contact for an equal expenditure of energy.

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VI) Use Of Aeration

Trays filled with coke or stones are used for aeration at a number of installations, chiefly in connection with iron removal, where aeration and contact action are combined, or where compactness is desirable.

Experimental work is desirable to determine the number of trays, depth, etc.


Ultimately, since the removal of organic matter was the chief end and aim of aeration, many inventors and promoters concentrated their interests there. In the four decades of the present century the proper objectives of aeration have been defined and various means of adapting apparatus to those objectives have been devised.

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Aeration is a procedure of air stripping that is being thoroughly investigated for the removal of volatile organic compounds from contaminated groundwater supplies. The effectiveness of removal of these compounds is both a function of their solubility and their volatility. Data from EPA field tests and laboratory experiments shows that aeration is an extremely effective method of removing chlorinated organic from water.

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VII) Concluding Statements on Aeration
Aeration by spraying into the air takes too much energy. Other methods call for jets, pans showers through small, closely spaced perforations, coke trays and compressed air admitted to the water at the bottom of the basins. In no case reported is high pressure air used nor is there a single instance of compressed air admitted to a main tank. We thus conclude our study of aeration. Outlined above is the theory, history and practice behind this intimate mixing of air and water. As Theophrastus, an early Greek philosopher once explained, "running waters are generally better than standing water, and when aerated are still softer, or less harsh."

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VIII) Extended Aeration.
Extended aeration is a method of sewage treatment using modified activated sludge procedures. It is preferred for relatively small waste loads, where lower operating efficiency is offset by mechanical simplicity. This Process, also referred to as total oxidation, is a modification of the ASP (Activated Sludge Process). The fundamental idea in extended aeration as compared to the Conventional Activated Sludge Process is to minimize the excess amount of excess sludge and this is achieved by increasing residence time; thus the reactor volume is comparatively larger than that required in conventional activated sludge process. As a result essentially, all degradable sludge formed is consumed by endogenous respiration. In extended aeration process the raw sewage goes straight to the aeration tank for treatment. The whole process is aerobic. This simplification implies longer aeration time which has earned for the process the name
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"extended aeration". The BOD removal efficiency of the extended aeration process is higher than activated sludge process which makes it especially desirable to use where it is to be followed by tertiary treatment for reuse.

a) Comparison between Extended Aeration and Conventional Activated Sludge Process. 1) Longer Detention Time in Aerator.

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2) Lower Organic Loadings. 3) Higher concentration of biological agents in Aerator 4) Higher Consumption of Oxygen In Extended Aeration Process.

b) Applications
Extended aeration is typically used in prefabricated "package plants" intended to minimize design costs for waste disposal from small communities, tourist facilities, or schools. In comparison to traditional activated sludge, longer mixing time with aged sludge offers a stable biological ecosystem better adapted for effectively treating waste load fluctuations from variable occupancy situations. Sludge may be

periodically removed by septic tank pumping trucks when solids concentrations become high.

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Extended Aeration

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IX) Step Aeration
Step Aeration Is a Modification of the Conventional Activated sludge process in which fresh feed is introduced at several points along the aeration tanks. This arrangement provides for the equalization of the F/M ratios along the tank. The Aeration tank is divided by baffles into several parallel channels. Each channel constitutes one step of the process and the steps are linked together in series.

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X) Bibliography
a) References
1) Hammer, Mark J. (1975). Water and Waste-Water Technology. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-47134726-4. 2) Metcalf & Eddy, Inc. (1972). Wastewater Engineering. McGraw-Hill Book Company. ISBN 007-041675-3. 3) Steel, E.W. and McGhee, Terrence J. (1979). Water Supply and Sewerage, 5th Edition. McGraw-Hill Book Company. ISBN 0-07-060929-2. 4) Baylis, John R., Elimination of Taste and Odor in Water, McGraw Hill Book Company, 1935. 5) Baker, M. N., The Quest for Pure Water, The American Water Works Association, 1949.
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6) Hazen, Allen., Clean Water and How to Get It. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1914. 7) Isacoff, Eric W., & Neely, James W., Carbonaceous Adsorbents for the Treatment of Ground and Surface Waters. Marcel Dekker Inc., 1982. 8) Nordell, Eskel., Water Treatment for Industrial and Other Uses. Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1951. 9) Ramalho, R.S., Introduction to Wastewater Treatment Processes. Academic Press, 1977. 10) Ryan, William J., Water Treatment and

Purification. McGraw Hill Book Company, 1937. 11) Manual of Water Quality and Treatment, American Water Works Association, New York, 1940. 12) Water Quality and Treatment, 2nd Edition, The American Water Works Association, Inc. 1950.

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