Wastewater Treatment Setup: Concept of Treatment

What is the concept of a wastewater treatment system?

A wastewater treatment setup or system is a set of technologies that work together to meet the basic wastewater treatment needs.

Treatment of wastewater is rarely a static operation, 

A well-designed and effective wastewater treatment system should be capable of handling Varieties in contamination and flow in the process

possible changes in water effluent requirements due to changes in natural hydrological needs and needed chemical volumes.

TWhat does a simple wastewater treatment system include?

As previously stated, the exact components of a wastewater treatment system are dependent on the wastewater characterization in relation to regulatory requirements for plant discharge, but a simple wastewater treatment system usually involves some form of:

  • Clarifier 
  • Chemical Feed
  • Filtration
  • Final Ph Adjustment and Any Post Treatment

What is typically removed by a wastewater treatment system?

A water and wastewater treatment system may include the technologies required to remove any of the following pollutants:

  • Biochemical oxygen demand
  • Phosphates and nitrates
  • Pathogens that cause disease: Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that can be found in wastewater treatment setup can cause a variety of health problems, including acute illness, serious digestive problems, and death. When these pathogens are present in domestic or industrial wastewater and are not treated, they can spread illnesses and diseases like cholera, dysentery, salmonellosis, hepatitis A, botulism, and giardiasis, to name a few.
  • Metals: Metals are commonly found in wastewater as a result of different industries and manufacturing processes, and when left in high concentrations in wastewater, they can damage the environment and human health.
  • Biochemical oxygen demand
  • Total suspended solids (TSS) in wastewater, which are organic and inorganic solids suspended in the water, can damage aquatic life, just like many of the other pollutants mentioned. They can also be a concern if wastewater is reused for a process, but it depends on whether you need to dump the wastewater in a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) or the environment, or whether you want to reuse the wastewater for a process. TSS depletes oxygen levels in marine ecosystems and kills insects. They can also cause piping and machinery to scale and foul. 
  • Solids dissolved in water: Any anions, cations, metals, minerals, or salts contained in wastewater are referred to as total dissolved solids (TDS). They can damage marine life, irrigation systems, and crops, as well as seep into groundwater. TDS can be found in wastewater from a variety of industries.
  • Synthetic Chemicals: Pesticides and other chemicals used or manufactured in the manufacturing process can be transmitted to humans and the environment through wastewater, causing environmental and human health harm. Diethylstilbestrol, dioxin, PCBs, DDT, and other pesticides are some of the contaminants commonly found in wastewater. These “endocrine disruptors” have the ability to block hormones in the body, as well as the functions that these hormones regulate.


Physical processes such as settlement or flotation are used in waste-water treatment, as are biological processes such as aerated lagoons, activated sludge, or biofilm in trickling filters. Other physical methods, such as sieve filtration, may be used in specialized situations, such as dewatering waste-water sludge.

To be effective, sewage must be transported to a wastewater treatment setup via appropriate pipes and infrastructure, and the process must be regulated and controlled. Some wastewaters necessitate the use of specialized treatment methods. At its most basic, sewage and most wastewaters are treated by separating solids from liquids, typically through sedimentation. An effluent stream of increasing purity is produced by gradually converting dissolved material into solids, typically a biological floc, which is then settled out.

Situation on the world

Globally, it is estimated that 52 percent of wastewater is treated. However, wastewater treatment rates vary greatly across the globe. For example, while strong countries treat approximately 74% of their wastewater, moderate countries treat only 4.2 percent on average. Improving wastewater treatment around the world is critical for reducing pollution to the environment and improving water quality. As a result, “By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping, and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.”

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