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What is a Wastewater Treatment System

For industrial companies producing wastewater as part of its process, some type of wastewater treatment system is usually necessary to ensure safety precautions and discharge regulations are met. The most appropriate wastewater treatment system will help the facility avoid harming the environment, human health, and a facility’s process or products (especially if the wastewater is being reused). It will also help the facility curb heavy fines and possible legal action if wastewater is being improperly discharged into a POTW (publicly owned treatment works) or to the environment (usually under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit).

But what is a wastewater treatment system and how does it work?

The complex answer to this question (which largely depends on the wastewater characterization in relation to regulatory requirements for discharge from the plant) is simplified and broken down for you below:

What is a wastewater treatment system?

A wastewater treatment system is a system made up of several individual technologies that address your specific wastewater treatment needs.

Treating wastewater is rarely a static process, and a wastewater treatment system that is engineered to accommodate fluctuations in treatment needs will go a long way in avoiding costly replacements/upgrades down the line.

 An efficient and well-designed wastewater treatment system should be able to handle:

process variations in contamination and flow

variations in water chemistry needs and required chemical volumes adjustments

possible changes in water effluent requirements

What’s included in a basic wastewater treatment system?

As mentioned above, the exact components of a wastewater treatment system depend on the wastewater characterization in relation to regulatory requirements for discharge from the plant, but in general, a basic wastewater treatment system typically includes some type of:

clarifier to settle suspended solids that are present as a result of treatment

chemical feed to help facilitate the precipitation, flocculation, or coagulation of any metals and suspended solids

filtration to remove all the leftover trace amounts of suspended solids (again, the level of filtration needed will depend on the degree of suspended solids removal required to pass local discharge regulations)

Final pH adjustment and any post treatment

control panel (depending on the level of automated operation needed)

Depending on the needs of your plant and process, these standard components are usually adequate, however, if your plant requires a system that provides a bit more customization, there might be some features or technologies you will need to add on. For example, for facilities that generate biological demand such as food and beverage a biological treatment system will be required to reduce the BOD (biochemical oxygen demand), etc.

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