Fundamentals Of Biological Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater originates from mainly two sources: households and industries. An extensive amount of domestic waste and waste from manufacturing processes are generated every day, which contains chemicals, toxic substances, biodegradable materials or organic waste and much more. Other sources include agricultural activities, rain runoff and animal wastes.

If wastewater is left untreated and discharged into the environment, it can lead to water pollution, water-borne diseases, and ecological imbalance. Thus, wastewater treatment is aimed at transforming wastewater materials into products that can be disposed of safely without affecting the environment and protecting public health.

At the beginning of the 20th century, biological wastewater treatment was devised, and since then, it has become the key part of wastewater treatment globally. To put it simply, the biological wastewater treatment involves naturally occurring beneficial microbes which decompose organic waste and feed on organic carbon molecules, thereby cleaning wastewater. Consequently, the treated wastewater, commonly called effluent, is released into the environment. On the surface, the concept may seem to be simple, but the treatment process is complex with multiple variables working along with it. Various factors related to biology and biochemistry impact the process as well.

Biological wastewater treatment is a secondary treatment process that is carried out after the physical wastewater treatment. In the first stage, solid waste is removed using filters. Also, sediments and other substances like oil are removed. In the second stage, biological treatment takes place under aerobic and anaerobic conditions inside a bioreactor ( It is an apparatus or system where a biochemical process takes place) involving microorganisms. Aerobic wastewater treatment is done in the presence of oxygen whereas, in the anaerobic process, wastewater is treated in the absence of oxygen.

Aerobic Wastewater Treatment

Aerobic wastewater treatment is carried out in aerobic tanks, oxidation ponds, surface aeration etc. It also includes activated sludge and aerobic digestion as it involves oxygen. Also, aeration systems are used to maintain a continuous supply of oxygen. It helps the bacteria in breaking down the organic waste in wastewater efficiently.

The activated sludge process is a prominent example of aerobic biological wastewater treatment, which is used widely all across the world. A rich mixture of the bacterial population is used under aerobic conditions. When blended with maximum nutrients and oxygen, bacterial growth and respiration occur. It is most commonly used for treating domestic and industrial wastewater containing an extensive amount of organic matter.

Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment

Anaerobic wastewater treatment uses bacterial population to decompose organic waste and to further treat sedimentation sludge. Mainly used in agricultural and food processing industries, it treats wastewater with strong organic content. Also, it is capable of handling high organic loads.

Although anaerobic treatment is a complex process, one of the major advantages is energy recovery from the process. Anaerobic digestion converts waste into carbon dioxide, water and methane which is used to produce biogas.

Various bio-environmental factors influence the performance of bacteria and the rate at which the process takes place. It includes temperature, pH, presence of nutrient and toxic materials, dissolved oxygen, Carbon:Nitrogen:Phosphate ratio etc. All these elements need to be checked regularly for a sufficient microbial population and its function so that wastewater can be treated efficiently.

Due to the growing urban population, rapid industrialization and generation of a large quantity of waste, the wastewater treatment plants are under undue stress. The sudden surge of water due to floods, variations in flow rate, high concentration of toxic substances and chemicals inhibit the function of bacteria. It ultimately may lead to untreated effluent being released into the environment. Thus, innovative biological solutions are required to boost the biological wastewater treatment process.

 Organic Biotech is one of the leading companies providing advanced solutions for wastewater treatment. Cleanmaxx and Cleanmaxx ANB are the best products in the market that supports the aerobic and anaerobic biological treatment of wastewater respectively. A special consortium of natural microbes are used to maximize the efficiency of the decomposition process. Thus, it makes the secondary treatment of wastewater exponentially productive. Additionally, it reduces the stress of wastewater treatment plants. In this way, wastewater is well treated, and the released effluent does not harm the environment.

Post by Priyanka Khaire