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Physical Characteristics of water

1. Turbidity
2. Colour
3. Taste and odour
4. Temperature
5. Specific Conductivity of water.
Characteristics of water
Water Analysis- Importance.

After the treatment analysis is done to ensure that water

has been purified or not.

Treated water before supply to the public is checked for its

quality whether it fulfills the requirements of standards laid
down by public health department.

Quality of source of water varies daily and in every season,

water samples for analysis should be collected frequently
Physical characteristics of water
Turbidity :
If large amount of suspended matter such as clay ,
silt or finely divided organic materials. It is not
harmful , but it has to be removed or reduced.
It should be measured & reduced by treatment.
Turbidity rod or turbidimeter. : amount of
suspended matter (mg/l or ppm)
The standard unit is that which is produced by 1
mg of finely divided silica in 1 litre of distilled
For drinking water :
5 to 10 units (permissible)
Physical characteristics of water
Turbidity rod :
1. Aluminum rod which is graduated , as to give the turbidity
directly in silica units ( mg / l )
2. The upper end is attached to graduated non-stretchable tape , so
as to help in lowering of the rod.
3. Screw containing a platinum needle and a nickel ring is inserted
at the lower end of the rod.
4. The standard platinum needle is 1mm in dia & 25 mm long.
5. Vertical rod or a stick is inserted in the nickel ring , so as to
support and keep the rod in a vertical position.
6. Mark for eye position on the graduated tape.
Physical characteristics of water
To measure : Turbidity
The graduated Al rod is lowered in water
The depth at which the platinum needle
ceases to be seen (keeping eye at the eye
mark ) which directly gives the turbidity
in ppm on silica standard(read on the
graduated rod).
Physical characteristics of water
Turbidimeters : lab test
Principle : measuring the interference caused
by the water sample to the passage of light
Jackson & Baylis turbidimeter.
Jackson :
1. Graduated Glass tube placed on a metallic cylinder
2. Metallic stand provided with a fixed standard candle at its
Jackson turbidity test :
Glass tube in place over the lighted candle,
Water sample is added and the candle flame is observed
from the top of the tube.
The addition of water is stopped as soon as the image of
the candle flame ceases to be seen.
At this stage, the height of the water column measured
in calibrated glass- measure of turbidity.
The ht of water column will be more less turbid water.
Physical characteristics of water
Jackson turbidity test :
Cannot be used for
< 25 JTU.
21.5 cm 100JTU
72.9cm 25 JTU
Not used for treated
Water , natural sources.
Baylis turbidimeter &
Modern nephelometers
Physical characteristics of water
Baylis turbidimeter:
Closed galvanized iron box
One side : two glass tubes are held vertically
side by side, supported at bottom by glass
plate & surrounded by blue cobalt plate.
On other side : 250w electric bulb with
reflector to throw light on tubes.
Refer diagram.
Physical characteristics of water
Baylis turbidimeter:
One glass tube is filled with water sample &
other is filled with standard water solution of
known turbidity.
Electric bulb is lighted & blue colour is
observed from the top of the instrument.
If colour of both the tubes differ, replace the
standard solution.
Used for low turbidities : 0 to 2 ppm
Physical characteristics of water
Modern commercial turbidimeters or
Very low turbidities of drinking water,(upto < 1)
Most commonly used, NTU
Old Turbidimeter : Light was seen or measured
after the same passed straight through the turbid
Modern Turbidimeter: Principle : Light passing
through the substance is scattered by the
particles suspended in the substance. The
intensity of scattered light was measured.
Physical characteristics of water
Ratio turbidimeters : measure ratio of
900 scattered light to the transmitted
Turbidity & ratio
< 1 NTU.
Physical characteristics of water
Colour :
Presence of :Dissolved organic matter from decaying vegetation
or some inorganic materials may impart color to the water.
The excessive growth of the algae and aquatic micro-
Not good for drinking
Harmful effect : spoils the colour of clothes being
washed in such waters.
Colour can be detected by naked eye.
Measured by comparing colour of water sample with
other standard glass tubes (Nessler tube)
Physical characteristics of water
Standard unit of colour :Produced by 1mg of
platinum cobalt dissolved in 1litre water.
Eg : 1 ppm means 1mg of platinum cobalt in 1 li of water.
Permissible limit : 20 ppm (based on cobalt scale).<10

Tintometer : compact instrument properly lighted from

Eye piece with 2 holes. Slide of standard coloured water
is seen through one hole, slide of water to be tested is
seen from the other hole.
Standard coloured slide is replaced by another, till a
matching is obtained.
Physical characteristics of water:
Physical characteristics of water
Tastes and odours :
Presence of : Dissolved organic materials or
the inorganic materials or Dissolved gases (
H2 S , CH 4 etc..)
Water must not contain any taste or
odour for drinking purposes.
Chemical composition of water : proper
treatment has to be given.
Measured by threshold number.
Physical characteristics of water
Measurement: Threshold odour number
represents the dilution ratio at which the odour is hardly
Water to be tested , is gradually diluted with odour free
water and the mixture at which the detection of odour by
human observation is just lost, is determined. The number
of times the sample is diluted, gives the threshold odour
Eg : 40 ml diluted to made 200 ml, then threshold odour
number is 5.
Limit : Threshold odour number lies b/w 1 to 3.
Odour - when water is cold, it change with temp.
Odour should be done at different temp & tabulated.
Physical characteristics of water
Temperature :
It is not possible to give any treatment to
control the temperature of water.
For portable water : Temperatures of about
100C are highly desirable , Temperatures
above 250 C are considered as objectionable.
Physical characteristics of water
Specific Conductivity of water :
The total amount of dissolved salts present in water
estimated by measuring the specific conductivity of
Specific conductivity of water is determined by means
of a portable dionic watertester and is expressed in
micro mhos per cm at 250. Mho =1 ampere / 1 volt.
Dissolved salts content (mg /l) = specific conductivity
of water x co-efficient (0.65)
Value of coefficient depends
on the type of salts present in water.
1. Total solids and suspended solids
2. pH value of water
3. Hardness of water
4. Chloride content
5. Nitrogen content
6. Metals and other chemical substance
7. Dissolved gases.
Total solids and suspended solids
TSS can include a wide variety of material, such as silt,
decaying plant and animal matter, industrial wastes,
and sewage.
Determination of total solids : By evaporating a sample
of water and weighing the dry residue left.
Determination of suspended solids : By filtering the
water sample and weighing the residue left on the filter

Dissolved solids = difference between total solids and

suspended solids.
Limit = Total solids 500 ppm
pH Value of water :
pH = log [ 1 / H+ ]
Alkaline solution higher value of p H, less
hydrogen ion concentration.
Acidic solution lower value of pH , higher
hydrogen ion concentration.
pH measured 0 to 14 scale.
For neutral water pH = 7
If pH > 7 , it will be alkaline, If pH < 7 , it will be
Alkalinity caused by bicarbonate of Ca & Mg or
by carbonates or hydroxides of Na, K , Ca & Mg.
Bicarbonate , Carbonate & hydroxide alkalinity.
Measurement of pH
Potentiometer: measures the electrical
potential exerted by hydrogen ions.
It can also be measured with the help of colour
indicators (dyes) which are added to water ,
and the colour produced is compared with the
standard colours of known pH values.
Eg : Methyl red , red(original colour), Final colour (yellow)
pH 4.4 to 6.2
Permissible pH value : close to 7
acidic water : corrosion , alkaline water : sediment
pH value permissible : 6.6 to 8.5
Hardness of water
It is that characteristic which prevents the formation of
foam , when such hard water is mixed with soap.
Presence of Ca & Mg salts present in water.
It is undesirable : more soap consumption , scaling of
boilers, corrosion etc..

Types of Hardness :
Temporary :
Presence of carbonate & bicarbonates of Ca & Mg.
It can be removed by boiling or by adding lime to the
Permanent :
Presence of sulphates , chlorides and nitrates of Ca or
Mg .
It require special treatment for softening.
Hardness is defined as the CaCO3 equivalent of Ca &
Mg ions present in water , expressed in mg /l .
The total hardness in mg /l = Ca ++ in (mg / l) x (Wt of
CaCO3 / wt of Ca) +Mg ++ in (mg / l) x (Wt of CaCO3 /
wt of Mg).
(Amount of Ca & Mg should be known).

Carbonate hardness = least of total hardness or

Non-carbonate hardness = difference between total
hardness & alkalinity.
Under normal range of pH values,
waters with hardness upto 75 ppm - soft

waters with hardness 200 ppm & above - hard,

75 to 200 ppm moderately hard.
Limit : Hardness limit ranges b/w 75 to 115 ppm.
Chloride Content :
Present in the water in the form of Na Cl and
due to :pollution from sea water , industrial
and domestic wastes.
Concentrations above 250 mg / l produce a
noticeable salty taste in drinking water and
are thus objectionable.
Presence of high quantity of chloride in river :
pollution of water due to sewage . It has to be
tested regularly.
The chloride content of treated water should
not exceed 250 ppm
Nitrogen Content :
The presence of nitrogen in water is an indication of the
presence of the organic matter, and may occur in the
following forms :
Free Ammonia , Organic nitrogen or albuminoid
nitrogen, Nitrites , Nitrates.
Free Ammonia : Indicates the first stage of
decomposition of organic matter.
The presence of free ammonia in water indicates
the presence of undecomposed organic matter ,
value < 0.15 mg / l.
Measurement: It can be measured by boiling the
water and measuring the liberated ammonia gas, by
distillation process.
(Distillation is a process of separating the
component substances from a liquid mixture by
selective vaporization and condensation. )
Organic Nitrogen : It indicates the qty of
Nitrogen present before the decomposition of
organic matter has started,indicates
pollution, value < 0.3 mg /l .
Measurement :

It can be measured by adding strong alkaline

solution of potassium permanganate to already
boiled sample and again boiling the same, and
measure the amount of liberated ammonia gas
,so as to indicate the amount of organic
nitrogen present in water.
sum total of ammonia nitrogen + The organic
nitrogen = Kjedahl nitrogen.
o Nitrites : presence of partly oxidized organic matter ,
value should be zero.
o Nitrates : presence of fully oxidized organic matter .,
value <45 mg/l.
o Harmful effect of Nitrate : adversly affect the health of
infants causing the disease called blue baby disease,
Children may vomit , skin colour become dark and may
Measurement (Nitrites & Nitrates ):
Measured by colour matching methods.
For nitrites, the colour is developed by adding sulphonic
acid and napthamine.
For nitrates , colour is developed by adding phenol-di-
sulphonic acid and potassium hydroxide.The colour
developed in water is finally compared with the
standard colours of known concentrations.
Metals and other chemical substances .
Tests are carried out to determine the amounts of
various metals and other substances , such as iron ,
Mn , Cu , lead, Cd etc..
Fe < 0 .3 ppm , Mn < 0.05 ppm. Excess values
damages the colour of clothes washed in such waters.
It cause incrustation in water due to deposition of

ferric oxide and manganese oxide.

High quantity of Cu are likely to affect human lungs
and other respiratory organs.
Flouide con. < 0.8 1.0 ppm may be harmful and cause dental
caries(tooth decay) due to the formation of cavities in teeth of young
Higher flouride(>1.5 ppm) causes spotting and discoloration of teeth
Measurement :
Colour matching methods.
Eg : Iron , (1,10 Phenanthroline(indicators))
Dissolved gases .
Dissolved gases in water includes Nitogen, Hydrogen
Sulphide, methane, carbon dioxide and oxygen.
Hydrogen sulphide imparts taste & odour to the water,
must be removed.
Carbon dioxide indicates biological activity,imparts
taste & odour to the water. Causes corrosion.
Oxygen absorbed by water from the atmosphere, but is
being consumed by unstable organic matter for their
oxidation. If amount of oxygen is lessthan the saturation
level , it indicates the presence of organic matter .
Measurement to determine the oxygen
deficiency :
Mix the water sample with 10% acid solution of
KMnO4 and expose the mixture for 4 hrs. at 270 .
The qty. of oxygen absorbed can be determined by
limit - 5 to 10 ppm.
Measurement of presence of organic matter :
By supplying oxygen to the sample of water and
finding the oxygen consumed by the organic matter
present in water.This oxygen demand (BOD)
It can be tested for raw water & treated water.
BOD of raw water : extent of organic matter
BOD of treated water : nil
Biochemical oxygen demand:
It is the amount of oxygen consumed by the organic
matter present in the water.
If the amount of oxygen present in the water is
sufficient , then the aerobic bacteria will cause the
biological decomposition of waste and organic matter,
thereby reducing the carbonaceous material from the
water. The amount of oxygen required in the process
until oxidation gets completed is known as BOD.
Polluted water absorbs oxygen for many months, till the
oxidation gets completed , and it is not easy to get the
value of BOD.
Standard Demand = BOD of water during the first five
days at 200
Measurement of standard Demand :
Mix or dilute the known volume of sample of raw water
with a known volume of pure water saturated with a known
quantity of dissolved oxygen (mg / l ) and incubating it for a
period of 5 days . The dissolved oxygen is measured after
the period of incubation.
Original oxygen content residual oxygen content = oxygen
consumed by the water sample in five days.(used in
oxidising the organic matter present in polluted water
BOD5 = BOD of 5 days = Loss of oxygen in (mg /l ) x
dilution factor or dilution ratio
Another name dilution method.
if BOD =0 ,no oxygen is required & presence of organic
matter nill
For the safe drinking water , BOD sholuld be nill.
1. Presence of Coliform group of bacteria.
2. Algae
3. Fungi
4. Plankton
Bacteria minute single cell organisms
possessing no defined nucleus, having no
green material to help them manufacture
their own food.
May be present in raw or contaminated water ,
& small , cannot be seen with naked eye, seen
Non-pathogenic bacteria They are
harmless, and under certain conditions
beneficial to human beings, animals and crops.
Pathogenic bacteria They are harmful, to
man & animals causing serious water borne
Most of the bacteria present in water require
oxygen for their survival. They consume
dissolved oxygen from the water and
decompose the organic matter present in
water, thus doing their job.
Depending upon the oxygen necessities of the
bacteria :
Aerobic bacteria - those require oxygen for their survival.
Anaerobic bateria those which flourish and thrive in
the absence of free oxygen.
Facultative bacteria those which can
survive with or without free oxygen.
Pathogenic Bacteria : tested & counted in labs
Not performed in the routine check up of the water
Non pathogenic indicator organisms: tested
(coliform group: total coliforms & fecal coliforms)
Rod- shaped non-pathogenic (bacilli): presence or
absence of fecal pollution.
Total coliform group : habitat is the colan of
humans& cold-blooded animals, soil & vegetation ,
in feces.
Fecal coliforms : members exclusively
found in feces & not found
in soil & vegetation
(96% of all the coliforms of human feces)
Eg : E- coli(Escherichia Coli)

E - coli : two types , biotype & serotype.

Detection of E-coli in drinking water : evidence of recent

Membrane filter technique
Simplest method for detecting & measuring the presence of
coliform bacteria.
The water sample is filtered through a sterile membrane of
special design (porosity 80%, pore size 5 to 10 m ), on which
the bacteria will be retained, if present.
The filter is the washed with a sterile buffer solution, placed
upon a pad saturated with a suitable nutrient medium,
and incubated at an appropriate temperature.
The bacteria which are able to grow upon the nutrient medium
will produce the visible colonies which can be counted.
Medium & temp : type of bacteria eg : total coliform , M-endo
broth & incubation at 35 for 20 to 22 hrs.
Membrane filter technique:
Coliform bacteria : colonies , colur pink to dark

Fecal coliform : medium M-FC broth &

incubation at 44 for 22 hrs.
Colonies : colur - blue
Presumptive coliform MPN test:

Bacteria : limit on drinking water : 1 coliform per 100ml

of water.
Algae : is a type of plant that grows in water and flourishes in
the presence of sunlight.
Seven types of algae all of them contain the green substance
chlorophyll, which permits them to utilise sunlight for their
growth by conversion of carbon dioxide, water and other simple
substances into organic carbon compounds. Due to this, algae
flourishes in.
To control growth cover the reservoir so as to exclude the
sunlight from reaching the water body found infected with algae.
three groups of algae
all types comes under this.
Diatomaceae group,
Chlorophylceae group, Cyanophyceae group.
Fungi : are those plants which grow without
sunlight and live on other plants or animals,
dead or live.
Some fungi may be fairly large , other fungi
are microscopic.
They have to be removed with chlorine
Plankton: are microscopic plants and animal
life that either swim weakly or float in water ,
and serve as a food for small sea creatures
and fish.
They are not injurious to health , but they imparts bad
tastes and odours to the waters by secreting oils .
Large quantities of plankton may impart green, brown or
yellow hue colour to the water.
Interfere the working of rapid gravity filters
Produces stains in kitchen.
Collection of water samples for bacteriological testing :
Precautions to be taken:
1. Use a sterile bottle that will be provided by the lab before
going to examine and test the sample.
2. Be very careful so that nothing except the water to be analyzed
comes in contact with the inside of the bottle or the cap.
3. The outside of the tap at the sample point should be inspected,
and if found leaking around the handle, a different sampling
point must be chosen.
4. Allow the water to run for at least one half of a minute before
collecting the sample.
5. The sample must be handed over immediately to the lab, as
otherwise extra bacteria may develop by fission, thus giving
wrong results.
6. Sufficient number of samples must be collected from different
points of the distribution system, so as to represent a sufficient
average value.
Purification of water
1. Screening
2. Sedimentation : Rectangular & circular
Methods of Purification of water
Raw water must be treated and purifies before
supplying to the public for the domestic., industrial
or any other use.
The extent of treatment
The characteristics and quality of the available
water ,
quality requirements of drinking water, they
should be made reasonably suitable for industrial
Methods of Purification of water
Various Methods:
Screening : To remove big & visible objects
Plain Sedimentation : removal of coarser
suspended materials
Sedimentation aided with coagulation : addition
of chemicals to form flocculent precipitate.
Miscellaneous treatment.
1) Screening
Coarse and fine screens :
Screens are provided in front of the pumps or the
intake works so as to exclude the large sized
particles, such as debris , trees etc
Coarse screens & fine screens.
Coarse screen is placed in front of fine screens. It
consists of parallel iron rods placed vertically or
at slight slope at about 2 to 10 cm c/c.
Fine screens are made up of fine wire or
perforated metal with openings less than 1 cm
1) Screening
Coarse screen remove the bigger floating bodies and the
organic solids .
Fine screens remove the fine suspended solids.
Fine screens get clogged and are to be cleaned frequently.
They are avoided now a days.
Fine particles are separated in sedimentation rather than
in screening.
Coarse screens are kept inclined at about 45 60 degree
to the horizontal, this helps to increase the opening area
and which helps to reduce the flow velocity and thus
making the screening effective.
1) Screening
Design :
The clear openings of screens should have an area so that
the velocity through them is not more than 0.8 to 1
The material which is collected on the upstream side of
the screens is removed either manually or mechanically.
Fixed bar type & movable bar type screens are available.
(Ref .figure )
2) Plain Sedimentation

2) Plain Sedimentation

Theory of sedimentation :
The settlement of a particle in water brought to rest, is opposed by the following
factors :
I. The velocity of flow : which carries the particle horizontally, If the flow area is
more, then the velocity will be less. So the particles can settle down more easily.
( Q = AV )
II. The viscosity of water in which the particle is travelling. Viscosity varies inversely
with the temperature. Warm water less viscous. But we cannot control the
temp. in the purification process. So this factor neglected.
III. The size, shape and specific gravity of the particle :
If the specific gravity is more , then the particle will settle more easily.
Size - Wt & Volume of spherically shaped particle = d3 /6 , d- diameter
of the particle or its size,Volume d3.
Area= d2 /4,Area d2. ie,Very small sized particles settle down very slowly.
Settling velocity is expressed by Stokes law , which takes the above three factors
into account.
Derivation of Stoke's law & its problem.
2) Sedimentation tank
Sedimentation Tanks
Special basins are constructed in order to purify the surface
waters of rivers or reservoirs by the process of
Out of the three forces which controls the settling of the
particles :
Velocity of flow : Reduced by increasing the length of travel
and by detaining the particles for a long time in the
sedimentation basin.
Size , shape of the particle : it is changed by the addition
of chemicals (coagulants ) to the water, which improves the
settlement of very fine particles under the process
called sedimentation with coagulation.
Temperature cannot be controlled.
Sedimentation tank
General :
Basins are made of RCC. May be rectangular or circular in plan.
Two types :
Long narrow rectangular tanks with horizontal
flow (preferred)
Circular tanks with horizontal radial or spiral flow.
Capacity & dimensions should be properly designed.
Plain sedimentation tank remove 70% of the suspended impurities in

Types of Sedimentation Tanks

Horizontal flow tanks ,Vertical or up flow tanks.
Horizontal flow tanks :
The direction of flow in the tank is horizontal.
Two types of design : Rectangular tanks with longitudinal flow ,
Circular tanks with radial flow , with central feed.
Sedimentation tank :Rectangular tanks with
longitudinal flow
Continuous flow type (Commonly used): They are provided with
mechanical scrapping devices, to scrap the sludge to the sludge pit
located towards the influent end, from where it is periodically
removed, without stopping the working of the tank.
Operation : Very simple . Water enters from one end and comes out
from the other end.
Velocity is reduced by providing sufficient length of travel.
Velocity is designed such that time taken by the particle to travel from
one end to other > time required for the settlement of that particle.
Intermittent type : Mechanical scrapping devices are not provided, and
the tank has to be cleaned by stopping the operation .
Operation :
The raw water is stored for 24 hrs and during this period ,the
suspended particle settle down at the bottom. The clear water from the
tank is taken out and the tank is cleaned off .This process is continued
for time interval of 30 to 36 hrs.
Horizontal Flow Tank :
Rectangular sedimentation tank with longitudinal flow
Sedimentation tank :Circular Tank with
radial flow, with central feed
Operation : Water enters at the centre of the tank into a circular well
provided with ports , from which it goes out to flow radially outwards
in all directions equally.
The water , flows horizontally , and radially from the centre towards the
periphery of the circular tank. This helps to decrease the horizontal
velocity towards the periphery, from where water is withdrawn from the
tank .
The sludge is scrapped to the central sump mechanically and
continuously, from where it is withdrawn during operation. The sludge
removal mechanism consists of scraper blades mounted on 2 or 4 arms
revolving slowly.
Horizontal Flow Tank :
Circular tank with radial flow, with central feed
Vertical or upflow settling tanks
It is used for plain sedimentation, but it combines
sedimentation with flocculation.
Square or circular in plan, and may have hopper bottoms.
Operation :
The influent enters at the bottom of the unit. The upflow
velocity decreases with the increased c/sonal area of the
tank. The clarified water is withdrawn through the central
If coagulents are added,
flocculation takes place at the botom
of tank and leads to the formation of floc.
Up-flow sludge blanket clarifiers.
Vertical or upflow settling tanks
Design concepts in Plain sedimentation Tanks (Type I settling )

Important terms :
1. Overflow velocity / overflow rate / surface overflow rate / surface loading (V0 )
It is the velocity at which the tank is designed to operate.
Surface area =As
Vertical upflow tank
V1 = V0
Vs V0 = Q/ As

V1 Settled particles

Raw Water
(Particles +liquid)

Particles falls downward with Vs and the velocity of rising liquid is V1.
If Vs > V1 , 100 % removal of particles. Otherwise particles cannot be
Design : V0 is about 80 % of Vs. Eqn . For V0 = Depth / time
Horizontal sedimentation tanks :
Assumptions :
a) Particles and their velocity vectors are evenly distributed across the tank
b) The liquid moves as an ideal slug, down the length of the tank.
c) Any particle hitting the bottom of the tank is removed.

Consider a horizontal flowing rectangular tank.

Let the water enters the tank with uniform velocity V.
If Q be the discharge at the entrance ,
flow velocity V = Q / BH (B width, H depth of water in the tank)


Vs >= V0

V V s1 E
Vs2 C
Sludge Outlet
Zone Zone

Consider the particle enters at point A at height H. Each particle will be
having horizontal velocity V and vertical settling velocity Vs. Resultant path
is given by the vector sum of V and Vs.
It moves along AC , so that it touched the bottom before reaching the outlet
zone. All particles with same velocity entering at different het h will also be
Consider the extreme case of slope vector from A to C ,and the geometry of
the basin ,
V / Vs L / H
Vs V .H / L (Q / BH ).( H / L )
(Q / BL )
(Q / As )
(Q / As ) Vo
Vs Vo (Vo Overflow rate)

If Vs > V0 , the particles will settle down and can be removed. Otherwise
particles will remain suspended in the tank.
2. Detention Period or retention period ( t ):

The detention period of a settling tank may be defined as average

theoretical time required for the water to flow thru the tank length.
It is that time which would be required by the flow of water to fill
the tank, if there were no outflows.
Formula - Detention time of Rectangular tank
For plain sedimentation
a) detention time 4 to 8 hrs
b) coagulants , detention time 2 to 4 hrs
c) Width of tank 10m and not to exceed 12m
d) length of tank is < 4B, though it may vary from 1 to
e) Cross sectional area of sedimentation tank is as
such to provide a horizontal flow velocity ranging
between 0.15 to 0.9m/min, normally at 0.3 m /minute
f) The total amount of flow from the tank within 24 hrs
= maximum daily demand of water
3. Displacement Efficiency:

In order to achieve the efficiency in the removal of sediment

in sedimentation tanks, the flow is uniformly distributed
throughout the cross-section of the tank.
If some portion of water is allowed to pass directly through
the tank without being detained for the intended time, then
the flow is said to be short circuited. Properly designed
inlets and outlets near the entrance and exit may reduce the
short circuiting tendencies, and distribute the flow more uniformly.
But , however in actual practice , certain amount of short circuiting
always exist and therefore actual average time which the
water takes in passing through the settling tank is called as
flowing through period.
Flowing through period < detention period
Displacement efficiency = Ratio of flowing through period to
the detention period
It varies b/w 0.25 to 0.5 in normal sedimentation basins.
Check against the scour of Deposited Particles :

The flow velocity should not cause the scour of the settled or
deposited particles. Ie, The overflow velocity should not be more
than scour velocity, as to cause the uplift of particles which
have settled and reached the sludge zone.
The flow velocity in the tank ( v ) < scour or displacement velocity
(v d )
v d is the minimum velocity required to start the motion of the
settled particles of size d ,
v d = Formula.
Inlet and outlet arrangements in sedimentation tanks :
Inlet for rectangular tank is in the form of a channel extending
to the full width of the tank with a submerged weir type baffle
wall as shown in the fig .

Outlet for the rectangular tank consists of a channel extending

the full width of the tank and receiving the water after it has
passed over a weir.(Ref. Figure)
Cleaning and sludge removal from sedimentation
tank :
The suspended materials settled down at the bottom have to
be cleaned periodically.
Necessity : It reduces the capacity of the tank and its
detention period, Also it leads to the evolution of certain
foul gases due to the decomposition of the settled
organic matter.

Cleaning : Manual or Mechanical

Manual cleaning : The tank is out of service and the supply of

raw water is stopped. The already contained water is
drained off till the depth remains about 30 cm or so.
The sludge is stirred and removed as a slurry , though a
separate pipe is provided with a gate valve at the bottom of
the tank. The removed sluge is then taken to the municipal

Mechanical : mechanical cleaning devices are

Rectangular : sludge is scrapped & brought to
the hopper at the outlet end
circular tanks: sludge is scrapped & brought to
the centre & removed.

For the tanks without mechanical sludge removal

equipment, an additional minimum depth of
about 0.8 to 1.2 m should be provided for storage
of sediment and is called the sludge zone.
Tube settlers
Settling efficiency depends on surface area of
the tank and is independent of its depth.
Sedimentation basin should be shallow as
Tank height is divided into compartments
Very small tubes : detention time < 10min.
Tubes : circular or square , placed together
side by side to make a bundle called as
module or tube settler module.
Eg : lamella clarifier
Ref :http://www.tubesettlers.com/
Sedimentation aided with
Sedimentation aided with
Theory :
Very fine suspended mud particles and the colloidal
matter present in water cannot settle down in plain
sedimentation tank of ordinary detention period. They
can be removed by increasing their size by changing
them to flocculated particles. For this chemical
compounds called coagulants are added to the water
which forms a gelatinous precipitate called floc.
The very fine colloidal particles in water , get
attracted and absorbed in these flocs , forming the
bigger sized flocculated particles.
Sedimentation aided with
Sedimentation aided with
Theory :
The colloidal particles possess surface charges
resulting from absorption or from ionization of
chemical groups on the surface. The surface charges
on colloidal particles gives them long term stability
and hence the particles starts to get settled.
Colloidal particles in water or waste water
negatively charged. They are surrounded by a bound
layer of water , called as stern layer, which draws
ions of opposite charges from the bulk solution ,
produce a rapid drop in potential .
Sedimentation aided with
Coagulation : It is a chemical technique which is directed
towards the destabilization of the charged particles.
Flocculation:It is a slow mixing technique which
promotes the agglomeration of the stabilized particles.
Sedimentation aided with
For practical purposes Coagulation - Entire process of
addition of chemicals (coagulants ) and mixing
The coagulated water is finally made to pass through
the sedimentation tank, where the flocculated
particles settle down, and are thus removed.
Coagulants are used raw water turbidity > 30 to 50
mg/l. Coagulation before sedimentation is usually
adopted in all major water treatment plants, and is
followed by rapid sand filtration.
Sedimentation aided with
Analysis of Flocculent settling (Type 2 )
Flocculent particles such as those resulting from
coagulation, will agglomerate while settling with a
result in increase in the particle size. The density of
the composite particle may decrease due to the
inclusion of water , but the overall result is generally
an increase in the settling velocity.
Sedimentation aided with
Chemicals Used for coagulation :
1. Alum : Aluminium sulphate , floc : alumininum
hydroxide which attracts fine particles & grows in
size & settles down.
Dose of alum : 5mg/l to 85 mg/l for highly turbid waters.
Average 17 mg/l
2) Copperas : Ferrous sulphate, It is added with lime and
produces floc ferric hydroxide .Qty same as alumn
3) Chlorinated copperas : copperas + chlorine : ferric sulphate &
ferric chloride , helps in removing the colours . Floc : ferric
4) Sodium aluminate : produces calcium or magnesium
aluminate. More costly as compared to alum.
Sedimentation aided with
Use of Alum. Use of Iron Salts
It is used for treating raw It produces heavy floc as
compared to alum.
It can remove hydrogen sulphide
& good for removing taste &
Wide range of pH values.
Produces stains & promotes the
growth of bacteria
More corrosion as compared to
Storage require more skill &
control as compared to alum.
It is used for treating sewage.
Sedimentation aided with
Coagulation Sedimentation Plant (Coagulation
plant or Clariflocculator)

It consists of four units :

Feeding device ,
Mixing device or mixing basin,
Flocculation tank or flocculator ,
Settling or sedimentation tank.( Ref . Fig)
Coagulation Sedimentation Plant (Coagulation
plant or Clariflocculator)

Operation :

The chemical Coagulants are fed(dry or solution form) into the

raw water through feeding device.
This mixture is then mixed and agitated in the mixing basin.
The floc which is formed as a result of the chemical reaction in
the mixing basin is then allowed to consolidate in the
flocculation tank.
The flocculated water is finally passed into the sedimentation
tank where these particles settle down and be removed.
The resultant water of low turbidity is taken out through the
outlet of sedimentation tank , directly to the rapid gravity filters.
To remove the turbidities upto 10 -20 mg/l
To reduce the bacteria from the water.
a) Feeding Device :clariflocculator

Dry Feeding Wet feeding

Chemical Coagulants : Chemical Coagulants

powder form : Solution form
Equipments are more costly as
compared to dry feeding .
They can be easily controlled
and adjusted.
a) Feeding Device :clariflocculator

Factors -Choice of the two equipment :

Characteristics of the coagulant and the
convenience with which it can be applied :
Eg : Alum & activated carbon - Dry feeding,
Copperas & Hydrated lime Wet feeding .
The amount of coagulant to be used : If the dose is
very small wet feeding.
The cost of the coagulant & the size of the plant :
Cost : If the plant uses a great deal of coagulant ,
the chemicals should be purchased in its cheapest
form and the plant should be equipped to use the
chemicals in that form.
Size : large plants use wet feeding and smaller
plants uses dry feeding.
Dry Feeding Device
Dry Feeding Device : ( Ref . Fig)
They are in the form of a tank with a hopper bottom.
Agitating Plates are placed inside the tank, so as to
prevent the arching of the coagulant.
The coagulant in the powdered form , is filled in the
tank and is allowed to fall in the mixing basin. Its dose
is regulated by the speed of a toothed wheel or a
helical screw .
The speed of a toothed wheel or a helical screw is in
turn controlled by connecting it to a venturi-device
installed in the raw water pipes bringing water to the
mixing basin.
Wet feeding Device
Wet Feeding Device : (Ref . Fig )
The solution of required strength of coagulant is prepared and
stored in a tank, from where it is allowed to trickle down into the
mixing tank through an outlet.
Conical plug type arrangement , Constant head coagulant
feeding tank controls the dose of the coagulant.
Operation : The mixing chamber and the float chamber are
interconnected together, so that water level remains the same in
both of them.
As the flow of raw water increases, the depth of water in the
mixing basin increases. At the same time, the water level in the
float chamber increases and causes the lifting of the float in the
As the float rises, the pinion and pulley rotates and causes the
lifting of the conical plug and allowing more qty of coagulant
solution to fall down into the basin. If the level of water
decreases, then conical plug descends down and allows to
continue at a lower rate.
Mixing Device
b) Mixing Devices :
The mixture of coagulant & water is thoroughly
mixed so that the coagulant gets fully dispersed
into the entire mass of water.
The mixing can be done with the help of mixing
devices : centrifugal pumps, mixing basins etc.
Mixing Basins : Two types ; Mixing basins with
baffle walls(used on smaller plants- requires less
skilled labour), mixing basins equipped with
mechanical devices.
Mixing basins with baffle walls
i. Mixing basins with baffle walls : (Ref . Fig )
They are rectangular tanks divided by baffle walls.
The baffle walls are provided such that the water flows
horizontally around their ends or they may be provided as
to make the water move vertically over and under the
The provision of baffles in the path of flow, gives the
sufficient agitation, as to cause necessary mixing to
develop the floc.
Horizontal flow baffled basins are preferred due to ease of
Mixing basins with baffle walls
Mixing basins with baffle walls
i. Mixing basins with baffle walls : (Ref . Fig )
Design Criteria :
The velocity of flow in the channels b/w baffle 0.15 to
0.45 m/sec
The detention period 20 to 50 minutes.
The distance b/ w baffles should not be less than 45 cm . Or
it may be increased gradually with length to achieve
tapered flocculation.
The clear opening b/w the end of each baffle and the tank
wall(or roof or top water surface or the floor in case of
vertical floor type basins)= 1.5 times the distance b/w the
baffles, minimum of 60 cm .
The floor of the channel should slope towards the outlet.
The head loss is in the range of 0.5-1.0 m. Depth of water >
Mixing basins equipped with
mechanical devices
ii. Mixing basins equipped with mechanical devices (Mechanically agitated
mixing basins ): (Ref . Fig )
The chemical added to raw water is vigorously mixed and agitated by
a flash mixer for its rapid dispersion in raw water and the water is
then transferred to a flocculation tank provided with a slow mixer.
They are rectangular tanks which is provided with an impeller fixed to
an impeller shaft. The impeller is driven by an electric motor, and it
revolves at a high speed inside the tank.
The coagulant is brought by the coagulant pipe and is discharged just
under the rotating fan. The raw water is separately brought from the
inlet end and is deflected towards the moving impeller by a deflecting
The thoroughly mixed water is taken out from the outlet end.
Drain valve is provided to remove the sludge from the bottom of the
flash mixer.
Mixing basins equipped with
mechanical devices
ii. Mixing basins equipped with mechanical devices
(Mechanically agitated mixing basins ): (Ref . Fig )
Design Criteria :
Impeller speed 100 to 120 r pm .
The detention period 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Power required in flash mixing 2 to 5 kW per m3 per
c) Flocculator: (Ref. fig)

The water from the mixing basin is taken to the

flocculation tank where it is given slow stirring motion.
The best floc will be formed if the mixture of water
& coagulant are subjected to slow and gentle
stirring to permit build up and agglomeration of
the floc particles.
Plain flocculation tanks with controlled flow velocity or
rectangular tanks fitted with paddles operated by
electric motor.
The water coming out from the flocculator is taken to
the sedimentation tank.
c) Flocculator: (Ref. fig)

Design Criteria :
The paddles rotates at speed of 2 to 3 rpm.
The detention period 20 to 60 minutes.
The clear distance b/ w paddles and the wall or the floor of the
tank is about
15 to 30 cm.
The velocity of flow through such a flocculator is unimportant,
because the paddles provide a rolling motion which prevents the
floc from settling.
Sedimentation Tank
d) Sedimentation Tank:
Function , design & other details similar to those
under Plain sedimentation.
Differences :
Detention period : 2 to 4 hrs.
Surface loading ( or the overflow rate) 1000 to
1250 li / hr / m2 of plan area.
Combined Coagulation cum
sedimentation tank
Combined Coagulation cum-sedimentation tanks(Ref. fig)

Combination of flocculation tank along with the sedimentation

Plain floc chamber without any mechanical devices is provided
before the water enters the sedimentation chamber.
Detention period for the floc chamber 15 to 40 minutes.
Detention period for settling tank 2 to 4 hrs.
The depth in the floc chamber is half that of in the settling
The water from the mixing basin eaters this tank, and the
clarifies water comes out of the outlet end.
The design principles of the tank is similar to a plain
sedimentation tank except that these are kept deeper.
Depth of water in settling tank 3 to 6 m
They may be cleaned at intervals of about 6 months.