Effluents can also contain inorganic wastes such as salts and heavy metals. When these effluents are released into the water bodies without proper treatment, it can cause serious damage to the ecosystem. Besides, it can also affect the people who use this water for drinking or any other household purposes. It is therefore essential that the industrial effluents are treated to high standards before they are released. Industrial effluents can contain a mixture of contaminants which make them unfit for further use. The most common pollutants and possible methods for their removal are presented in the following table. The different types of contamination of wastewater require a variety of strategies to remove the contamination.
There are different processes that can be used to clean up wastewaters depending on the type and extent of contamination. Most wastewater is treated in industrial wastewater treatment plants which may include physical, chemical and biological treatment processes. Solids removal: Most solids can be removed using simple sedimentation techniques with the solids recovered as slurry or sludge. Very fine solids and solids with densities can be removed by filtration or ultra-filtration.
Alternatively, flocculation may be used using alum salts or the addition of poly-electrolytesOils and greases: Many oils can be recovered from open water surfaces by skimming devices. However, hydraulic oils and the majority of oils that have degraded to any extent will also have a soluble or emulsified component that will require further treatment to eliminate. Dissolving or emulsifying oil using surfactants or solvents usually exacerbates the problem rather than solving it, producing a very difficult to treat wastewater. Soft organics: the Organic material of plant or animal origin is usually possible to treat using extended conventional Sewage treatment processes.
Problems can arise if the wastewater is excessively diluted with washing water or is highly concentrated such as neat blood or milk. The presence of cleaning agents, disinfectants, pesticides, or antibiotics can have detrimental impacts on treatment processes.
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