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Guidelines for Effective Wastewater Treatment

Properly treating wastewater is an important, but often misunderstood process. If wastewater is not treated correctly, it can be extremely harmful to our environment, including the people and animals that live in it.

While there are several different elements of treating wastewater, including the physical treatment that removes particles and debris, the chemical treatment of wastewater is especially important.

There are a few things that you should know about the benefits of chemically treating wastewater, the most common chemicals used, as well as best practices for storing these chemicals.

The Importance of Chemicals for Wastewater Treatment

Steps in a typical wastewater treatment processThere are five primary benefits of using chemicals for treating wastewater:

  • Elimination of solid particles with chemicals like ferric chloride, polymers, and alums
  • Neutralization, a process where either an acid or a base is added to the wastewater to bring it to a neutral pH level
  • Odor control, to prevent offensive odors that are found in wastewater
  • Disinfection to destroy pathogens that can spread diseases
  • Chemical treatments to separate the water and the sludge, making it easier to remove the sludge

Chemicals for Wastewater Treatment

Five of the most frequently used chemicals for wastewater treatment include:

  • Sodium Hypochlorite: more commonly known as bleach, this chemical is often used to eliminate viruses and bacteria during the disinfection stage
  • Sulfuric Acid: sulfuric acid is the most commonly used acid in the world. It is frequently used to bring the pH level of wastewater back to normal
  • Ferric chloride, aluminum chloride, and polymers: these chemicals are used during the process of flocculation and the dewatering of digestive cake, to make it easier to transport waste materials to a landfill
  • Sodium hydroxide: just like sulfuric acid, this chemical is often used to neutralize the pH of wastewater
  • Hydrochloric acid: this highly corrosive acid is used to control odors in wastewater

Now that you know the most common chemicals for wastewater and how they are used, you may be wondering how to store them properly.

Creating a Storage Solution for Wastewater Treatment

As is the case with other types of chemicals, chemical treatments that are used for wastewater need to be stored very carefully so that their quality is not compromised. The key to this process is making sure that the storage solutions used are designed based on the specific chemical that will be stored in them.

To learn how to effectively store the most commonly used wastewater chemicals, check out our Complete Storage Guide To Wastewater Chemicals.

Download Our Wastewater Chemical Guide



By CK-12 Foundation (File:High_School_Engineering.pdf, page 75) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Topics: Applications