With more than 65 toxic pollutants identified by the EPA, wastewater treatment plays an important role in ensuring clean drinking water and waterways.
This is why there are so many different types of equipment to treat wastewater. Plants, mines, and factories use them to ensure they aren’t releasing pollutants into our water stream and reduce water usage.
Let’s take a look at some of the common pieces of equipment you’ll find for treating wastewater.
Step one for any treatment involves screening to get rid of large items like bags, sticks, and bottles as well as grit, sand, and rocks. A prime example is a bar screen, which uses steel or iron bars to block an opening with small gaps in between.
The goal here is not just to get large contaminants out of the water. These machines also keep these large items from clogging pumps, small pipes, and other equipment downstream in the process.
Screens can range from coarse to fine and can be made from bars or mesh. They’re often combined with a comminutor, which adds a grinding component to cut up all the stuff caught in the stream. This makes it small enough to pass through and be removed later in a settling tank.
Grit chambers are also part of the screening process, used to get out finer particles like sand and small stones. These can wear on pumps and clog aeration equipment if they get farther down the line.
Filters are used to remove smaller contaminants from water, including suspended solids, fat, oil, and grease. They use gravity or other force to pull fluid through a filter to separate the contaminants from it.
Ultrafiltration machines remove oils, suspended solids, and other large molecular weight materials out of the water. The goal is to get as much out as possible to avoid the use of chemicals. They are also used to clean out wash water in tumbling operations, saving water and detergent costs.
Paper bed filters take advantage of gravity to pull water through paper media or permanent filters to remove solids from liquids. They also serve to get out larger contaminants like glass, rubber, and plastic.
Vacuum filters can be used continuously, so there’s no downtime to worry about. They’re virtually maintenance-free, use disposable filters, and cut down on the sludge volume. They use a vacuum chamber to pull the wastewater through the filter, leaving contaminants behind.
This equipment type uses some means of separating water from contaminants without using filters.
One type takes advantage of natural evaporation, which removes the water from the contaminants rather than the other way around. This vacuum evaporation is commonly used for treating and distilling industrial wastewater.
Centrifuges use centrifugal force to separate solids and liquids. The wastewater is pump or gravity fed into the machine. After running through a cycle, the cleaner water is sent back out via gravity to the next step in the system.
Treating Our Wastewater
Wastewater treatment is a global concern, leading to the development of the different systems listed here for dealing with it. Industrial concerns across the country use this treatment equipment to ensure any water they dispel meets regulations and doesn’t contribute to pollution concerns.
Found this article helpful? Check out other articles on our site related to ecological issues and the technology used to cope with them.