Posted: A Month AgoDue: 18/03/2018Budget: $6
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Original Post

Please read this week’s reading. In chapter 7 the author goes into the wastewater process very deeply. Please describe your understanding of the entire process and the way you think the process will be changed in the future.

Student Response


I apologize to the class for my tardiness of this week’s forum. My workload was increased this week. I was volunteered to update some of our procedures in our unit, so my off days have been at our facility.

I did, however had the chance to get some firsthand knowledge of the practices we do in our facility when dealing with waste water. We have several areas that check the water of impurities, as well as recycle process water back into the units after filtration processes. We also have specific equipment that has built in filtering units so that they can continuously use the same water by adding more volume as the water evaporates.

Another great thing we have is a control for our outfalls to public waterways. We have three collection ponds that hold water and treats it in various stages. What this does is allows us to hold all runoff water so that we discharge nothing but pure and safe water. Each area is monitored and treated differently, going from first stage to discharge. If the water fails any quality test it is held on location until it will pass.

I cannot really go into detail about the exact process that goes through on our site, but seeing the extensive on-site equipment was a peace of mind knowing everything leaving our units was treated correctly and isolated if failing quality.

To go into what our text has described, what I understand from this is that there are certain characteristics that define what is in waste water. As the water is tested and examined, the type of contaminates can be understood; as well as what is needed to treat the water so that it can be considered safe again.

The initial treatment is the preliminary treatment. This is when the water is being treated by removing the most obvious contaminates. This treatment is part of the physical operations, which is forcing the contaminates out physically.

The next step is the primary treatment. At this level in the treatment process, which again is a physically process, is where more of the solid mass and floating contaminates. This process uses various weirs and scrapers in a vessel to gather and remove both heavy solids, as well as floating materials by directing the materials in different directions for removal.

Secondary treatment follows these first two processes. This is considered a biological process due to the use of living organisms. Like the process of making alcohol, microorganisms (bugs) are placed in the waste water to help with the removal of organic material. In the alcohol process, this is done during fermentation so that there is more alcohol produced. With these organisms doing their thing, they are helping with the degrading of contaminates, as well as creating a more enriched environment, thus allowing more organisms to grow and clean/produce a cleaner product.

The final stage is the Tertiary/Advance treatment. This is considered the chemical aspect of water treatment due to the additions of chemicals to help make the water safe for consumption. This area is where the disinfecting process takes place. The organisms used to clean the water are also harmful for humans. The chemical additions kill the organisms so that the water is safe for consumption and hydration.

As far as to where the future lies in wastewater treatment…What I see is a more streamline technology. Something that will combat the process to help with the mitigation of water quicker and less costly. I see technology allowing water to be recycled as quickly as the waste is produced.

What I see is something like a facility I use to work for. We were in the research and development division of a very large company. What we did was create ethanol, but not in the typical way. We created ethanol from waste. It was a process called celluloses. What we would do is take used sugarcane stalks. These stalks have already been used to get all sugar available at the mills and were considered trash. We would take and add various processes (acids, caustic, microorganisms, heat, and pressures) to get every bit of sugars left in the fibers. We would then convert this into ethanol in the fermentation process and had ZERO waste! We used every bit of the material and created a great fuel. Or facility even supplied all the fuel for the torch during the Olympic Games in London (hint on the company), as well as the vehicles used on site. It was a great process that would generate so much energy from something that would not be more than just garbage to be burnt as waste grass.

Sadly, our facility closed before we could have a 100% perfect formula…but we were so close! We were not making them any money being a research site, but we were making the world better.

The reason that I mentioned this process is that it seems very close to what wastewater treatment is. We used a lot of the same theories to produce a finished product.



**Disclaimer: My MACBOOK and other laptop both have crashed this week so I’m writing this forum on my IPAD. I apologize in advance.

Wastewater treatment refers to the physical, chemical, and biological processes used to remove pollutants from wastewater before discharging it into a water body. Since the Clean Water Act was issued in 1972, there are now more than 16,000 publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants in operation in the United States (Vanguilder,2012)

First of all I remember visiting a couple of wastewater facilities and saw the operations. This has to be one of the most disgusting things I ever saw with my eyes. If some of you saw what I saw and smelled what I smelled you would do the impossible and refuse to drink water lol.

Preliminary treatment, primary treatment, secondary treatment, and tertiary/advanced wastewater treatment are four different processes for wastewater treatment that are used.

The first stage is the preliminary treatment process. In this stage all of the raw sewage is screened to remove all the large solids. Examples include sticks,rocks, and toys. It leads into the next process which is the primary treatment. To me this is known as the smelly treatment. Raw sewage to include gross floating solids are trapped to be removed through sedimentation by gravity. Chemicals assist to accelerate the process. In the next step,secondary treatment , biological systems are used to remove the dissolved and unsettled solids that were missed in the previous step. This step includes a lot of filters that are used over and over to ensure all the bad stuff is removed. The last step is more treatment to remove anything that wasn’t filtered out. This is the Tertiary/advanced treatment process. This process is supposed to remove more than 99% of all the impurities from sewage. Out of this is supposed to be safe to drink water. Of course a lot of chemicals are added to the filtering process.

I always thought bottled water was the best but it’s just the same as tap water it all gets cleaned treated the same way. Basically what we flush down the toilet is what we end up drinking after all the wastewater treatment. If you ever get a chance to visit a wastewater treatment plant please go. They walk you through the whole process and even let you see when the sewage comes in.

You always hear the government talk about a greener world and better life for our children. I do believe with all this technology we have in the US and all these smart scientists we should be able to come up with a quicker process that ensures no flaws in the system. I know sometimes when we test the water we drink some of it is bad. You would think the US would have no issues getting clean water therefore never having issues like we do at Flint Michigan.


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