The Different Steps in an Industrial Wastewater Treatment Process

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Industrial wastewater treatment is a process that involves several different steps. This process can help you meet environmental regulations and prevent your wastewater from polluting the environment.

Wastewater can contain a wide variety of physical and chemical properties. This can make it challenging to treat.

Chemical Precipitation

In an industrial wastewater treatment process, chemical precipitation is used to remove dissolved solids from a solution. The process can be a cost-effective way to remove pollutants that are too heavy for biological treatment.

The process is also useful for removing sludge from wastewater. This sludge can then be treated to remove toxic compounds.

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When metal ions are added to an aqueous solution, they can be precipitated. For example, silver ions may be precipitated by chloride ions or barium ions by sulfate ions.

Precipitates can be formed under a variety of conditions, depending on the solution’s concentration and temperature. They are crystalline solids that can sink to the bottom of the solution or float if they are less dense than the solution.

The cations and anions can switch positions in the reaction, and therefore can cancel each other out of the net ionic equation. The net ionic equation must be written with all the reactants and products balancing out.

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Chemical Coagulation

Coagulation is a chemical water treatment technique used to enhance the ability of sedimentation or filtration to remove particles. It involves the addition of a chemical to the water and then gentle agitation or stirring to encourage the particles to agglomerate into larger formations that will be removed in the downstream sedimentation or filtration step.

There are a variety of chemicals that can be used as coagulants, including metallic salts like aluminum sulfate or ferric sulfate, and all-organic polymers like polyamines. Both types of coagulants can be applied to a wide range of raw water conditions and are effective at removing suspended solids and dissolved colloidal matter.

Inorganic coagulants, such as aluminium sulfate or ferric aluminium sulfate, are the most common type of coagulant. These chemical compounds react with the alkalinity of the water and hydrate to form a metal hydroxide floc. This precipitates the colloidal material into sludge, and destroys the alkalinity and lowers the pH.


The filtration process is one of the most common industrial wastewater treatment processes. It entails separating solids from fluids in a suspension.

The effectiveness of filtration depends on a number of factors, including the filter media (i.e. sand, crushed glass or other ceramic material, or another relatively inert mineral) and the depth of the filter bed. The choice of the media is influenced by the need to retain suspended solids and dissolved gasses in the filtrate, as well as other objectives such as energy efficiency or chemical compatibility.

Filtration is typically used as a first step in an industrial wastewater treatment process to meet a plant’s specific needs for water purity. It can reduce strain on local water resources, increase plant efficiency, and help reduce costs.


Disinfection, sometimes called sanitization, is the use of chemicals (disinfectants) to kill germs on surfaces and objects. Usually, the disinfectant will need to remain on the surfaces for a set period of time.

Chemical disinfection is used as the primary microbial removal step in most water treatment processes. Common disinfectants include chlorine dioxide, chlorine, and chloramines on one hand, and ozone on the other.

The efficiency of a disinfectant depends on the concentration and contact time. It is also influenced by the pH and temperature of the water.

In many cases, industrial wastewater treatment includes screening out large items that can clog pumps and impede water flow. This is done with a bar screen or grit chamber.

In addition to these physical steps, aeration is used to encourage the natural biological process of breaking down organic materials that are dissolved in wastewater. This is an important step in reducing Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and thereby reducing sewer surcharge fees.