Water is, aside oxygen, a vital element for life on earth. Access to clean drinking water is mandatory for life to go on as it is today. As the world’s population is increasing more and more and the water sources remain at the same level, timely wastewater treatment is of the essence so that the natural water reserves refill at a constant pace.
Wastewater and, generally speaking, water-treatment means destroying or removing those elements from the water that could be harmful to humans. The Wastewater treatment plant processes today remove up to 99% of water contaminants from either wastewater or raw water sources as to make sure that the water that enters our homes is drinkable.
There are several methods used for water and wastewater-treatment and purification: intake filtering, chemical treatment, sedimentation, filtration and aeration. The intake filtering is the easiest yet most ineffective method for water treatment and it cannot provide by itself drinkable water. Intake filtering is actually the removal of all debris from the water through the use or variously sized screens before the water is collected on a wastewater treatment plant.
Chemical water or wastewater treatment is basically the disinfection of such water through the use of different chemical compounds like chlorine, iodine or ozone. These chemicals remove all living organisms from the water.
Sedimentation is a first stage in any wastewater treatment plant and this method consists of allowing the matter in the water to settle at the bottom of the container before the water is passed on to other treatments. This will clear the water of any other residuals left from the treatment for disinfection.
Another wastewater treatment method is filtration and this process implies that the water that has passed through the sedimentation stage now has to pass through a series of filtration beds. These filters withhold any leftover suspended mater in the water. The filtration beds are usually made out of artificial nets or membranes with specific thickness requirements as to provide a certain level of cleanness to the water.
As all the chemical treatments may add a specific odor to the water one of the final methods of wastewater treatment should be aeration. This is the air exposure of the water so that it returns to the odorless stage. Aeration, aside from oxygenation, means also the removal of any leftover volatile organic substances or compounds.
Another more advanced Wastewater treatment plant method is reverse osmosis filtering. This sort of treatment enables plants to turn ocean water into drinking water.