Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater treatment is an important aspect of keeping a community safe and healthy. Currently nearly 1/3 of the worlds population does not have access to sanitation services. In addition, 1.2 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking water (UN, 2008). As a result of these two conditions over 5,000 people die every day due to waterborne illnesses.

Wastewater treatment prevents and contains waterborne illnesses. This section reviews the main components of wastewater treatment:

  • Influent - Many constituents in wastewater must be removed
  • Primary Treatment - Removes suspended solids in the wastewater
  • Secondary Treatment - Removes the organic constituents in the wastewater
  • Tertiary Treatment - Removes nutrients that can negatively impact the water body where the wastewater is discharged
  • Effluent - Discharged wastewater must meet regulated levels for contaminants

Clarifier of Arcata's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Figure 1. The Clarifier of Arcata's Wastewater Treatment Plant.