Wastewater treatment is an extremely important part of our lives. Though we are entirely unaware of the various processes involved in industrial water treatment systems, they are responsible for keeping our used water clean and safe; everything you’ve ever flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain has ended up in a wastewater treatment facility where it is purified. In order to truly understand the value of this vital industry — and to help you understand it just a little bit better — we’ve put together and defined three common wastewater treatment terms.
- Dissolved Air Flotation Equipment: Also referred to by its acronym DAF, this term describes a water treatment process that uses dissolved air under pressure to remove suspended matter (such as oil or solids) from wastewater. The pressurized air is then released, which forms tiny bubbles that adhere to the suspended matter and cause it to float to the surface of the water where it can easily be removed. Surprisingly, between 25% and 65% of the energy used in wastewater treatment plants is dedicated to this aeration process.
- Sludge De-watering: Sludge de-watering is a process that separates sludge into liquid and solid components; because it is easier and more cost effective to treat these substances separately, sludge de-watering only splits the two — it does not purify or decontaminate either component.
- Chemical Dosing: Since you can’t simply reintroduce wastewater into the environment (or back into society) without ensuring it’s free of contaminants, the liquid and solid components of wastewater need to be dosed with chemicals. ‘Chemical dosing’ is a generic term; there are many different types of chemicals and systems used depending on what you’re trying to change or control, such as pH control, nutrient feed requirements, and odor control.
The better we understand the important events going on behind the scenes of our lives, the better can appreciate them. If we were unable to use dissolved air flotation equipment, or didn’t have access to the purifying chemicals used in the dosing process, our everyday lives and health would suffer. Now, we can be grateful for the systems we are fortunate enough to have in place by understanding the wastewater treatment terms.