The addition of air into wastewater is an integral part of the treatment of biological wastewater. The process generates the aerobic biodegradation of pollutant components. Biological treatment relies on naturally occurring microorganisms in wastewater to degrade contaminants, unlike the process of using chemicals to stabilize contaminants.
Aeration is a standard part of the secondary stage and is often the first significant process engaged in the wastewater treatment process. Activated sludge is created by pumping air into a tank, which promotes microbial growth. Microbes naturally feed on organic materials generating flocks that settle in a separate. The continuous recirculation of the activated sludge into the aeration basin increases the decomposition rate.
The aeration process provides oxygen to the bacteria, which allows biodegradation to occur. The bacteria utilizes the oxygen that has been introduced into the wastewater, breaking down the carbon-based organic matter and producing carbon dioxide and water. The alternative to using aeration to degrade waste materials is a septic model. The process is slow, produces an odorous smell, and has a significantly lower pollutant conversion yield. This biological process can result in the production of hydrogen sulfide and methane along with organic acids making the water less treatable.
As tiny bubbles of air and water make close contact, the turbulence of rising bubbles removes dissolved gases allowing the gas to escape into the air. The process removes undesirable dissolved metals and chemicals through oxidation, including benzene, trichloroethylene, dichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, ammonia, chlorine, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, iron, and manganese.
The particles generated can then be removed through filtration or flotation. Interestingly, the temperature of the water affects the amount of oxygen the water can hold. Colder water carries more oxygen; however, it is essential to remember that water containing too much oxygen can become corrosive and cause air to bind filters.
Aeration is critical when using a treatment system based on the activated sludge process. When appropriately applied, the distribution of oxygen in an aeration system creates an environment conducive to rapid, economical, and effective wastewater treatment.Diamond Water Systems is a leading provider of water filtration systems for industrial, municipal, and commercial applications. To learn more about our products and services, visit our products page or call us now to learn more about aeration