Wastewater goes through three main stages — find out what these are

Cleanawater on 15 July 2020

The term 'wastewater' refers to any water which has been contaminated by other materials, such as human waste, food scraps, oils, soaps, and chemicals. Each state and territory in Australia has governing water authorities which have rules and regulations pertaining to the treatment of wastewater.

If you own or operate a business which produces wastewater, you'll need to install wastewater treatment systems to ensure you remain compliant with the governing water authorities. If you don't, you're at risk of being issued hefty fines, lawsuits, and in some cases, business closure.

At Cleanawater, we provide tailored wastewater treatment solutions for all kinds of industries and businesses. Whether you need oil water separators, pump stations, or oil skimmers, we have the solution for you.

The three stages to wastewater treatment

There are three stages to treating wastewater and, depending on the quality of the water, all three may be required or a combination of one or two.

1. Primary wastewater treatment

This process filters out solid waste within the water. The wastewater is passed through tanks and filters which separate the water from the contaminants. Afterwards, the sludge which is left over is processed through a digester. The sludge contains almost 50 per cent of the solids found in wastewater.

2. Secondary wastewater treatment

Using naturally occurring biological processes, secondary treatment of wastewater removes smaller particles which the first phase couldn't remove.

Secondary treatment involves anaerobic or aerobic breakdown processes. This means bacteria uses any contaminants and particles as food, and gradually gets rid of all 'nasty' waste. This process can often take a lot longer than primary wastewater treatment, as it relies on aeration, biofiltration, and the interaction of waste during the process.

3. Tertiary wastewater treatment

This phase of wastewater treatment is designed to remove phosphates and nitrates from the water supply. Tertiary wastewater treatment occurs when water is going to be recycled or sent to the sewer network. Water authorities require (by law) that all water being sent to the sewer network needs to be classified as 'neutral' in alkaline.

Water treatment equipment

industrial water treatment and boiler room

When treating water from mining and industrial sites, it's important to have oil water separators. Coalescing Plate and Vertical Gravity oil water separators are efficient and effective ways to separate contaminants from water. Once the oil has floated to the top of water, you can use an oil skimmer to get rid of the oils. Oil skimmers come in a range of types for industrial applications, including:

  • Weir skimmers: Hard-wearing floating skimmers which use a suction-type process to remove oil from water.
  • Belt skimmers: An oleophilic tube is run over the surface of a tank and oil sticks to the tube.
  • Drum skimmers: A floating device which attracts oil as it rotates along the surface of water.
  • Tube skimmers: Compact devices which floats around the water, collecting oils and contaminants.

Why is recycling rainwater so important?

Our water sources are becoming increasingly polluted as many businesses and industrial sites fail to comply with water authority regulations. This is creating water shortages around the world, which will only get worse in the future.

While mains water is cheaper than installing and maintaining your own system, there are a few reasons you'll need to look at installing on-site water treatment and recycling solutions.

  • Mains water isn't always available
  • There are regulations on mains water usage requiring rainwater or recycled water as a primary source or recycling water

Why choose Cleanawater?

At Cleanawater, we've been providing tailored, high quality wastewater treatment solutions since 1996. Along with supplying equipment, we can also install our solutions and create ongoing maintenance plans so you can remain compliant with your local water authorities.

We provide water treatment solutions for a range of industries, including:

  • Mining
  • Car washes
  • Workshops
  • Industrial equipment
  • Vehicle washdown areas
  • Service stations
  • Quarantine sites
  • Transport

In a simple four-step process, we can develop the right solution for your site, create a concept model, manufacture the equipment, and install the solution. Get in touch with us to start effectively treating your wastewater today.