waste water

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What is waste water? What happens to the dirty water thrown out of our houses? Various processes involved in the Sewage treatment ? What will happen if sewage is not treated ? The role we have to play CONTENTS

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The human waste and unclean water carried from dwellings, commercial buildings, industrial facilities and institutions is called wastewater. Waste water together with strom of water runoff , discharged into the drains is called sewage. What is waste water ?

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What happens to the dirty water thrown out of our house?

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The water carried out of houses by pipes called sewers . A network sewers which is laid to collect and dispose off sewage is called sewerage . we have seen covered manholes on the road. These are located approximately every 60 m in sewage lines. Manholes are the points where there is a change in the direction of the sewerage. The storm water runoff enters the sewerage through the storm water drains desined to prevent the direct flow off water into water bodies . The sewerage water carries sewage to the sewage treatment plant. The sewage treatment treats the sewage to remove harmful impurities so the water can be circulated for irrigation proposes and released into water bodies like rivers, lakes and ponds.

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Various processes involved in the Sewage treatment ?

Bar screens:

Bar screens

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Sewage water is passed through the bar screens, where the large objects like package cartons, rags, bottles and other solid wastes are removed.

Grit tank:

Grit tank

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After bar screens the water is passed into grit tank. Here the water is allowed to stand so that sedimentation of pebbles, sand and grit takes place.

Settling tank:

Settling tank

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The water from the grit tank is taken to the settling tank where solids like faeces settle at the bottom of the tank. The waste settled at the bottom of the tank is called sludge . lighter waste like form floats as the top due to the presence of oils and paints and forms scum. Sludge is taken from here to the sludge treatment plant called the digester .

Digester tank:

Digester tank

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Inside the digester tank the sludge is decomposed {digested} by the anaerobic bacteria. The anaerobic bacteria convert the sludge to biogas in the absence of air. The biogas is a important fuel and it can be used to produce electricity or simply as fuel in households. The non-biodegradable waste is taken to the landfills or incinerators .

Aeration tank :

Aeration tank

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The water after removal of sludge and scum is taken to the aeration tank. Here air is pumped into the water so as to let aerobic bacteria grow. These bacteria act on the organic waste and decompose it in the presence of air. The decomposed organic matter settles at the bottom of the tank. This organic sludge is rich in nutrients and used as manure for agriculture purposes. The clarified water is removed from top.

Uv, chlorine and ozone chamber:

Uv, chlorine and ozone chamber The clarified is further passed through UV radiations to kill harmful diseases causing microorganisms. Sometimes clarified water is also treated with chlorine or ozone for further disinfecting.

Discharge into waterbody:

Discharge into waterbody The disinfected, clarified water is now safely discharged into the aquifer. Here water is cleaned up further by nature itself and put back into circulation for use.

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The role we have to play

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We should not throw oils, paints and fat in the drain as they clog the drains. Insecticides and medicines should be thrown in dustbin. These if deposed in the drain, kill the microorganisms helpful in treating waste water. Used tea leaves, fallen hair, food waste, old torn clothes, diapers and sanitary towels should be thrown in the dustbin so as to prevent clogging of drains. We should use compact and manure in our kitchen garden rather than chemical fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers increase the nitrates and phosphates in soil which runoff into water bodies on excessive watering and cause eutrophication.

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