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Sewage Treatment: Overview

Dr. Akepati S. Reddy School of Energy and Environment Thapar University, Patiala Punjab (INDIA) 147 001

Sewage treatment
Why treatment?
To meet the effluent standards or to make the sewage compatible for discharge into the environment To make sewage fit for reuse (irrigation water/reclaimed water)

Treated where?
In centralized STP (city level treatment facility) In on-site/decentralized STP (household or colony level facility)

Treated for what?

To remove suspended solids (reduce from <400 to <100 mg/L) organic matter (reduce BOD5 at 20C from <350 to <30 mg/L) Pathogens (reduce MPN from>1x108/100 mL to <1000/100 mL) Nutrients
Reduction desired: total-N & total-P to 15/10 & 2/1 mg/L Total-P expected: 0.16 mg/L to 12 mg/L Total-N expected: 20 to 70 mg/L (38.7 mg/L in Thapar sewage) Standards: 100 mg/L total-N, 50 mg/L NH3-N and 5 mg/L free NH3

Sewage treatment
Sewage is usually at some depth at the STP Need pumping up and passing through the STP for treatment
For protecting pumps, screening and degritting is needed Sump and pumps are required for reliable pumping

Frequently treatment units of STP can not stand sewage flow and strength fluctuations and sewage may need equalization
to avoid overloading and shock loading

Preliminary treatment
Facilitates sewage to flow through the STP Avoid accumulation of grit in the STP in different units

Preliminary treatment:
bar screens grit channels/chambers, aerated grit chambers, vortex type degritters and cyclone degritters Sumps and pumps Flow and strength equalization tanks

Sewage treatment
Primary treatment
Removal of suspended solids by design and coincidental BOD removal removal of helminth eggs, protozoan cysts, etc. Primary sedimentation tank Anaerobic pond, UASB reactor, UASB pond, baffled anaerobic reactor as alternatives Stabilization of primary sludge and/or biogas generation occurs

Secondary treatment
Removal of biodegradable organic matter by design Coincidental removal of pathogens (MPN count) and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus Aerobic and facultative treatment attached growth and suspended growth types ASP and its modifications, MBR, SBR (denitrification), aerated lagoons, oxidation ponds, oxidation ditches Facultative ponds, constructed wetlands and vegetated ponds TFs, RBC, SAFF, FAB, MBBR

Sewage treatment
Tertiary treatment
Make the water fit for reuse (irrigation and aquaculture) Polishing, nutrient removal and/or pathogen removal Maturation ponds, vegetated ponds, constructed wetlands Filtration (roughing filters) and chlorination/disinfection

Sludge handling
Primary sludge and secondary sludge
Screenings, grit and scum Biomass from vegetated ponds and constructed wetlands

Stabilization of sludge or generation of stabilized sludge Aerobic and anaerobic sludge stabilization Sludge thickening, dewatering and drying
Sludge drying beds

Handling of harvested biomass in case of vegetated ponds and constructed wetlands

Raw sewage

Bar screen


Sewage Sump & pumping Grit chamber Exhaust gases (CO 2 and H 2O)



Equalization Tank

Biogas flaring unit


Primary clarifier

Biogas if not flared (supplied as fuel or emitted)

Stabilization tank Sludge drying beds Dried sludge for disposal


Aeration tank

Treated effluent

Secondary clarifier

Clarified effluent to sewage sump Filtrate to sewage sump

STP Incorporating ASP

Raw sewage Bar screen filtrate sludge Baffled anaerobic reactor Blowers for diffused air High rate Facul. pond Multistage filter Twin oxide Duck/fish pond Treat. Effl. rechar.well Treated effluent for reuse

Raw sewage Sump & pumps

1. Grit removal is not provided might have been integrated with the raw sewage pumping 2. In place of twin oxide electro-chlorinator can also be used. 3. Excess of the treated effluent (that can not be reused) will be injected into groundwater after filtration. 4. Stabilized sludge will be dredged, once or twice a year, transported away and disposed off.
Stabilized sludge for disposal

Sludge thicng. /stablng. pit


STP at Thapar University

Raw sewage 2. Filtrates & drainages Separated grit for disposal

Bar screens

Screenings for disposal Compressed air LPG for ignition

Exhaust Biogas flare

Aerated grit chambers

Scum for disposal


Supply for 1:Drainage Mixing with biogas Use as fule skims Primary sludge Thickener pumps pit clarifier pit cum stabilizer

filtrate 1:Drainage filtrate Filtrate & drainage pit

Sludge drying beds

Harvested biomass for use as resource

Constructed wetland system

Dried sludge
2. Filtrates & drainages

pumps Treated effluent for irrigational reuse pumps Treated effluent pond

Overflows into natural drain

STP proposed for Talwara Township

Wastewater from the complex

Septic tank system

Septic sludge to the biogas plant

Secondary sludge

Septic tank output sump



Aeration tank

Mixed Secondary liquor clarifier Sludge

Excess treated Treated effluent effl. pond Excess treated effluent for ground water recharging Filtration & injec. well


STP for AMTEK Railcar Industries Ltd.

Treated effluent for irrigation

Raw Sump-1 pump sewage Drum screen Raw Sump-2 pump sewage Treated effluent for reuse pump sump Slow-sand filter

Grit chamber-1
blower Grit chamber-2 Anaerobic pond Compartment-2


Anaerobic pond Compartment-1

Constructed Wetland cell Facultative pond

air blower

Recreational Fish pond

Constructed Wetland cell


Facultative pond

Constructed Wetland cell

Overflow to natural drain

Proposed STP for the Patiala Military Station

Bar screen Raw sewage sump sewage pumps Bar screen chamber

Raw sewage

Treated effluent

Anaerobic Pond-1

Facultative Ponds-1

Natural Natural Natural Pond-1A Pond-1B Pond-1C

Anaerobic Pond-2

Facultative Ponds-2

Natural Natural Natural Pond-2A Pond-2B Pond-2C

STP at Sultanpur Lodhi

Outlet Final Polishing Unit Gas Flaring Division Box Gas Holder To DG set Gas Scrubber Grit Chamber bar screen Sump & Pumps Distribution Boxes Sludge Sump UASB Pre-aeration Unit

Sludge drying bed

Sludge Sump

UASB Distribution Box

Sludge Sump

Gas Sludge

Division Box


STPs at Ludhiana

Raw sewage Bar screen Sump & pumping

Bar screen (fine)



Grit chamber

Air from blowers for diffused aeration SBRaeration Pumping Sludge sump & pumping Sludge dewatering Dewatered sludge

SBR-selector Pumping

Treated effluent

STP at Samana