Sewage treatment is a set of techniques that include water purification to recycle wastewater into the environment, or to convert it into drinking water.
In terms of foresight and the Rifkin’s dynamic, as well as under the conception of “smart and sustainable city” (including automation), there is a tendency to provide, similarly to the Smart Grid, which builds “smart” energy networks, technical solutions to make water systems more “intelligent” and efficient (the conception known as Smart Water). A common field between these two approaches could be in the sewage drains heat recovery or the use of water network as a global cooling system.
There are two main techniques to purify water, applying to both wastewater treatment and the production of drinking water. The physico-chemical techniques are essentially reserved for the drinking water production. The use of chlorine dioxide, sodium, and ozonation is also effective.
In recent years, it took many efforts of the research and development departments to cope with the increasing complexity of pollution, regardless of its source.
New fertilizers placed on the market, the identification of new sources of industrial pollution, as well as pharmaceutical (residues of active drugs rejected by individuals) actually pose new technological challenges to the treatment.
Biological processes are used for secondary treatment of urban and industrial wastewater. In its basic configuration, they are mainly used for the removal of carbon compounds present in soluble form, such as sugars, fats, proteins, etc., for which solutions physico-chemical means are often inefficient, costly, or difficult to implement.
These are harmful to the environment since their degradation involves the consumption of dissolved oxygen in water necessary for the survival of aquatic animals. The purpose of biological treatment is to remove the soluble organic pollution by microorganisms, mainly bacteria.
The heterotrophic microorganisms that use organic matter as a source of carbon and energy, have a dual action:
The organic material is partially removed in gaseous form during carbon mineralization with CO2 production in aerobic processes and biogas (CH4 + CO2) in anaerobic processes, and partly transformed into solid particles consisting of micro-organisms resulting from bacterial growth. These particles can be easily separated from the liquid phase by physico-chemical means such as settling for example. If necessary, the transformation of ammonium ions (NH4 +) to nitrate (NO3-) or nitrification, which may be performed simultaneously.
These methods can also remove nitrogen and phosphorus by biological method through the implementation of additional steps in the treatment process: setting up an anoxic tank, an anaerobic pond, etc.
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