Palevsky, Gerald Consulting Professional Engineer, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Last reviewed:April 2019
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- Preliminary treatment
- Primary treatment
- Secondary treatment
- Fixed-film systems
- Activated sludge
- Final polishing
- Advanced wastewater treatment
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The process of separating, modifying, removing, and destroying objectionable, hazardous, and pathogenic substances from sewage, also known as wastewater. The used water supply of a community, if left untreated, carries a variety of health risks (Fig. 1). Stringent state, federal, and local water quality and effluent standards require reduction of suspended solids (turbidity), biochemical oxygen demand (related to degradable organics), and coliform organisms (indicators of fecal pollution), as well as the control of pH and the concentration of toxic organic chemicals and heavy metals from sewage in order to render the water safe for human consumption. Ultimately, the impurities, contaminants, and solids removed by sewage treatment processes must also be collected, handled, and disposed of safely, without damage to human health or the environment. See also: Sewage
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