Aeration is an integral part of any biological wastewater treatment process. The effectiveness of the process largely depends on how well designed the aeration system is.
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Aeration is a technique supporting the biological processes that take place in the second stage of the wastewater treatment (WWT) process.
The pre-filtered wastewater that enters aeration tanks still contains ammonia and very small organic particles that could not be filtered out in the sedimentation tanks. Large amounts of compressed air are introduced into the process via a system of surface or submerged diffusers.
The aim is to feed the microorganisms present in the wastewater and thus effectively remove the waste and pollutants from it. The biological process is energy intensive, but it is a very efficient way of treating wastewater as it may take as little as 5-6 hours.
Aeration provides dissolved oxygen that microorganisms need to carry out biodegradation processes.
The bacteria contained in the wastewater help to treat and stabilize it by breaking down organic matter. Without a sufficient amount of oxygen, the biodegradation is slow and results in an incomplete conversion of the pollutants. When occurring under septic conditions, the process often sees hydrogen and sulfur form hydrogen sulfide.
Carbon is transformed into methane or converted into organic acids. This leads to the creation of low pH conditions in the basin, hampering the treatment process and accelerating the production of odor.
Aeration is a crucial step of the wastewater treatment process. It assists in removing undesired compounds from the water, preparing it for the next phase of treatment. Additionally, it is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Most municipal and industrial water treatment plants use aeration as part of an overall process to purify water and remove its pollutants.