CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



Wastewater is everywhere, and there are more industries than you might imagine that produce this varied and very often dangerous by-product. It is produced in industries as diverse as dairy and chemical processing, metalworks and pharmaceuticals. For this reason, wastewater treatment plant and processes need to be dynamic and effective. The industry that treats this waste product is highly specialised and at the forefront of scientific development when it comes to helping other sectors reduce their waste streams and produce more effective means of disposing of the contaminants they do produce. Below are some of the main ways that wastewater treatment plant experts get their jobs done and done correctly. This aspect is quite simply the physical processes that are undertaken to carry out wastewater treatment. They might include skimming and sedimentation of the water to remove solid products. One of the most effective physical methods is the reverse osmosis method, which utilises high pressure across a membrane that splits up the harmful elements of the water. It ensures that only the particulates that are waste products are on one side of the membrane, and the clean water on the other. Other methods of physical processes include filtration and aeration. There are lots of different types of filters or aeration techniques depending on what kind of by-product is to be removed. Wastewater treatment plant can also include chemical processes. Some methods include using chlorine to kill harmful or unwanted bacteria in the water. Chemical techniques can also be employed to bring the pH of the water to a safe level, stopping the unwanted elements of it from proliferating and ensuring that the water is pure. In this aspect of a wastewater treatment plant, the liquid element of industrial waste is minimised to ensure that the disposal cost of it is as low as possible. There are a few different types of biological wastewater treatment. Plant that utilises these methods ensures that biological organisms metabolise some of the waste material, making it safer and cheaper to dispose of. Some of the treatments include using bacteria to turn the organic elements of the waste into carbon dioxide, and releasing that into the air where it can become part of the atmosphere. Options also include composting the unwanted by-products with sawdust or other similar materials. There are also techniques that use the fermentation process to remove or chemically change the waste. It is a complex and ever changing industry, but knowing about the different types of wastewater treatment can be very helpful in understanding the costs and requirements involved in operating in many different sectors. It’s not a hugely talked about part of business operations but is increasingly important for environmental and financial reasons. Knowing about the four main ways of treating water demonstrates just how effective and important the process can be. Sean Clifford is an advisor at AllWater Technologies Ltd, a wholly independent company providing consultation and water treatment equipment, including wastewater treatment plant and reverse osmosis water systems. Bringing together a host of experience and specialist knowledge, the company is committed to building and maintaining long-term relationships and creating maximum value and benefit for their customers.
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