SUBJECT: Science (Physical Science, Physics) TIME: 2-3 class periods MATERIALS: student sheets writing materials
The student will do the following: 1. Define wastewater and list components of wastewater. Describe the function of a wastewater treatment plant. Create a wastewater treatment model and use it to clean wastewater.
4.Describe some primary and secondary wastewater treatment methods.
Wastewater is not just sewage. All the water used in the home that goes down the drains or into the sewage collection system is wastewater. This includes water from baths, showers, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets. Small businesses and industries often contribute large amounts of wastewater tosewage collection systems; others operate their own wastewater treatment systems. In combined municipal sewage systems, water from storm drains is also added to the municipal wastewater stream. The average American contributes 265-568 liters (66 to 192 gallons) of wastewater each day. Wastewater is about 99 percent water by weight and is generally referred to as influent as it enters the wastewatertreatment facility. “Domestic wastewater” is wastewater that comes primarily from individuals, and does not generally include industrial or agricultural wastewater. At wastewater treatment plants, this flow is treated before it is allowed to be returned to the environment, lakes, or streams. There are no holidays for wastewater treatment, and most plants operate 24 hours per day every day of theweek. Wastewater treatment plants operate at a critical point of the water cycle, helping nature defend water from excessive pollution. Most treatment plants have primary treatment (physical removal of floatable and settleable solids) and secondary treatment (the biological removal of dissolved solids).
Primary treatment involves: 1. screening- to remove large objects, such as stones orsticks, that could plug lines or block tank inlets. grit chamber- slows down the flow to allow grit to fall out sedimentation tank (settling tank or clarifier)- settleable solids settle out and are pumped away, while oils float to the top and are skimmed off
Secondary treatment typically utilizes biological treatment processes, in which microorganisms convert nonsettleable solids tosettleable solids. Sedimentation typically follows, allowing the settleable solids to settle out. Three options include: 1. Activated Sludge- The most common option uses microorganisms in the treatment process to break down organic material with aeration and agitation, then allows solids to settle out. Bacteria-containing “activated sludge” is continually recirculated back to the aeration basin toincrease the rate of organic decomposition. Trickling Filters- These are beds of coarse media (often stones or plastic) 3-10 ft. deep. Wastewater is sprayed into the air (aeration), then allowed to trickle through the media. Microorganisms, attached to and growing on the media, break down organic material in the wastewater. Trickling filters drain at the bottom; the wastewater is collected and thenundergoes sedimentation. Lagoons- These are slow, cheap, and relatively inefficient, but can be used for various types of wastewater. They rely on the interaction of sunlight, algae, microorganisms, and oxygen (sometimes aerated).
After primary and secondary treatment, municipal wastewater is usually disinfected using chlorine (or other disinfecting compounds, or occasionally ozone orultraviolet light). An increasing number of wastewater facilities also employ tertiary treatment, often using advanced treatment methods. Tertiary treatment may include processes to remove nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and carbon adsorption to remove chemicals. These processes can be physical, biological, or chemical. Settled solids (sludge) from primary treatment and secondary...