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Sewage / Wastewater Treatment

Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from sewage. It includes physical, chemical and biological processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants. Its objective is to produce a wastestream (or treated effluent) and a solid waste or sludge also suitable for discharge or reuse back into the environment. This material is often inadvertently contaminated with toxic organic and inorganic compounds.

Sewage is created by residences, institutions, and commercial and industrial establishments. It can be treated close to where it is created (in septic tanks or onsite package plants and other aerobic treatment systems), or collected and transported via a network of pipes and pump stations to a municipal treatment plant (see Sewerage and pipes and infrastructure). Sewage collection and treatment is typically subject to local, state and federal regulations and standards (regulation and controls). Industrial sources of wastewater often require specialized treatment processes (see Industrial wastewater treatment).

Typically, sewage treatment involves three stages, called primary, secondary and tertiary treatment. First, the solids are separated from the wastewater stream. Then dissolved biological matter is progressively converted into a solid mass by using indigenous, water-borne bacteria. Finally, the biological solids are neutralized then disposed of or re-used, and the treated water may be disinfected chemically or physically (for example by lagooning and micro-filtration). The final effluent can be discharged into a stream, river, bay, lagoon or wetland, or it can be used for the irrigation of a golf course, greenway or park. If it is sufficiently clean, it can also be used for groundwater recharge.

Some alternative methods of wastewater treatment are more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

Sewage / Wastewater Treatment Images

Typical Process Flow Diagram
Typical Process Flow Diagram

Sewage / Wastewater Treatment Links

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