How Is Activated Sludge Used To Clean Sewage
Sewage management is fast becoming a global challenge. With changing lifestyles, industrialization and urbanization, a massive amount of waste is generated every day. The volume of sewage generated is also set to increase with the growing population. There is an urgent need for effective sewage treatment plants along with innovative wastewater treatment processes and solutions which can treat sewage efficiently.
There are three stages in the wastewater treatment process: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. The primary wastewater treatment deals with the removal of solid waste using clarifiers and filters.
The secondary wastewater treatment uses the biological process to remove organic waste matter. It is the most important stage in wastewater treatment where all pollutants and harmful substances are removed. The purpose of biological treatment is to produce high-quality effluent which can be released into the environment without causing any harmful effects.
Activated Sludge Process
Activated sludge is a biological wastewater treatment process which is widely used all around the world. It is one of the most effective methods to treat large volumes of sewage. In this process, highly concentrated aerobic microbes are used to break down the waste into by-products like carbon dioxide and water. To provide a suitable condition for microbes to perform its task, a continuous supply of air or oxygen is required.
How does it work?
In a typical activated sludge plant, components like aeration devices, primary clarifier, reactor, solid-liquid separator and a sludge recycling system are integral to it.
After wastewater is screened for heavy solid particles, coarse grit and sand, smaller solid waste is removed using the settling process in a sedimentation tank. It leads to the formation of sludge which is called primary sludge. Thereafter, wastewater reaches the reactor where microbes are in suspension mode, and come in contact with the waste. Aeration devices like surface aerators are used to supply oxygen regularly.
After the degradation process, the sewage liquor reaches the clarification chamber for solid-liquid separation. Here, the live microbes settle at the bottom, dead bacteria float on top, and clean water is present in the middle. The sludge recycling system is used to re-send the live bacteria or activated sludge back to the aerated tank to treat fresh load of waste.
Activated sludge process is used to treat different types of wastewater. It includes black water, greywater, brownwater and other biodegradable waste types like faecal matter and industrial wastewater. There are many advantages of activated sludge process. It includes high reduction of BOD, nutrient removal, high effluent quality, resistant to organic and hydraulic shock loads etc. Moreover, it is simple, reliable and inexpensive when it comes to servicing.
Role of Microbes in Activated Sludge
In the activated sludge process, microorganisms act on the biodegradable matter present in the wastewater and consume them as food. These bacteria secrete a sticky substance that covers sewage particles. It enables particles to come together and form bio-solids or floc that settle down and moved out. This is known as activated sludge.
Thus, activated sludge process success depends on the efficiency of microbes to consume organic waste, and their ability to stick and form floc as it helps in settling out of fluid. This microbiological treatment of wastewater through activated sludge is by far the most natural process to remove waste.
But due to various factors like the extensive generation of waste, industrialization and malfunctioning treatment plants in urban settings, the performance of microorganisms in the activated sludge process is depleted and in-effective. Thus, innovative solutions are the need of the hour to give a boost to the activated sludge process, as well as the wastewater treatment systems.
Organica Biotech is one of the leading companies with innovative solutions for wastewater treatment. Cleanmaxx is a natural and effective sewage treatment solution which consists of highly adaptable microbes. It helps in complete degradation of waste, maximum removal of BOD and prevents putrefaction. Using Cleanmaxx, you can boost the activated sludge process, and help to improve the performance of sewage treatment plants as well.
Also read: Where Does Sewage Go?