Why Aeration Is Important for Wastewater TreatmentJuly 14, 2021
While most people think of aeration as something that happens in fishing and farm ponds, it can also be an effective treatment method. In fact, it is crucial for most secondary treatment systems. However, it works differently than chemical treatment systems and infuses microorganisms into the water to degrade contaminants. Here is a brief explanation of the use of aeration in wastewater treatment and why it is important.
When Is It Used?
For municipal and industrial treatment, aeration is used during the second stage of the treatment process. It is one of the activated sludge processes. In short, it pumps oxygen into a treatment tank which promotes the growth of microbial within the water. The microbes feed on the contaminants in the water and settle to the bottom of the tank. Aeration is also used to keep them circulating throughout the water and ensure it is fully treated.
How Does It Work?
Aeration works by providing oxygen to the bacteria that is treating the wastewater. The oxygen is necessary for the bacteria to feed on the contaminants. The bacteria take the oxygen and break down any carbon molecules to create carbon dioxide and water. Without this oxygen flow provided by aeration, the bacteria would not break down the carbon quickly enough to make this treatment process cost-effective.
Without oxygen, the carbon would need to degrade slowly under septic conditions, which would produce terrible odors and not fully remove all the contaminants from the water. Additionally, these conditions can convert the molecules into toxic gases such as hydrogen sulfide and methane. Plus, the water will be left with a low pH and foul smells that require it to go through a chemical treatment to be usable. Overall, this process is slow and not cost-effective without oxygen.
Why Is It Important?
Aeration is critical for any treatment system that falls into the activated sludge process category. Effective aeration systems can boost the level of treatment that wastewater receives. This is because high-quality machines can effectively distribute oxygen and circulate microorganisms within the wastewater to rapidly and cost-effectively treat sludge.
Aerators are the key to biological wastewater treatments. They are most commonly used during the activated sludge process. Aeration helps improve this process by providing oxygen for the bacteria to break down carbon and treat water quickly. Learning more about this system can help you understand how it works and why it is important.