Effluent is defined as waste water - treated or untreated - that flows out of a treatment plant , sewer or industrial outfall. It generally refers to liquid waste or sewage discharged into a water body which can either be a pond , lake , river or sea. The effluent is the liquid waste generated by hotels,hospitals, institutions , industries and commercial units. The effluent has a very negative impact on the water and soil since it contains extremely high levels of BOD , COD , TSS and even dissolved solids.
Hence an ETP is one type of wate water treatment method which is specifically designed to purify industrial waste water for its reuse with an aim to release safe water to the environment.
Industrial effluents contain various pollutants depending upon the type of industry. While some effluents may contain oil and grease, other effluents may carry more hazardous chemicals like cyanide etc. Effluent from food and beverage industry contain degradable organic pollutants.
The ETP works at various levels and involves various physical, chemical , biological and membrane processes to treat waste water from different sectors like chemical , pharma , refinery , dairy , textile etc.
However broadly speaking , there are 8 steps involved in treatment of effluent :
This method removes almost all the material that can be easily collected from the raw sewage before they damage or clog the pumps and sewage lines of primary treatment clarifiers. These objects mainly include tash, branches , leaves and other large objects.
Grit consists of sand ,gravel and other heavy materials including organic matter such as egg shells , bone chips , seeds etc.
Pre -treatment may include adjusting the velocity of incoming sewage in grit or sand channel so as to allow maximum settlement.
Grit removal is essential for :
In bigger plants , fats and grease is removed by passing the sewage through a small tank where skimmers collect the fat floating on the surface.
Hre the sewage flows through large tanks called presettling basins, primary sedimentation tanks or primary clarifiers.
These tanks are used to settle the sludge while greasefats and oils rise to the surface and are skimmed. These tanks are equipped with mechanically driven scapers that continously drive the collected sludge to the base of tank from where it is pumped to sludge treatment facilities.
Secondary Treatment is designed to substantially degrade the biological content of the sewage which are derived from human waste,food waste , soaps and detergents. Most ETP use the aerobic biological process where the bacteria and the protozoa consume bio-degradable organic contaminants (like sugars and fats) and binds much of the less soluble fractions into floc.
The purpose of Tertiary Treatment is to provide a final treatment stage so as to further improve the water quality before being discharged into the receiving environment ( sea , river ,lake, pond etc ).
Sand Filtration removes much of the residual suspended matter. Filtration over activated carbon removes residual toxins.
Waste water may contain high level of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous which can lead to a build up of nutrients called eutrophication which encourages overgrowth of weeds and algae and because of this over consumption of oxygen it leads to death of other animals.
The purpose of dis-infection in the treatment of waste water is to substantially reduce the number of micro organisms in water to be discharged back to the environment for later use in drinking , bathing or irrigation.
Chlorination , UV treatment or ozonization are different ways for removal of micro organisms.
Odours emitted are typically an indication of anaerobic or septic condition in which hydrogen sulfide is the main culprit. Plants may get rid by treating the gas with activated carbon reactors.
High density solid pumps are suitable for reducing odour by conveying the sludge through hermetic closed pipe work.
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