Understanding the Difference between Domestic and Industrial Wastewater Plants

Understanding the Difference between Domestic and Industrial Wastewater Plants

Did you know that the way in which domestic wastewater is handled is very different to the way industrial wastewater is handled? There are various reasons why effluent waste is treated a lot differently to domestic waste. The actual contents of wastewater in homes and industrial plants is completely different. Therefore it makes sense that they require a different treatment system.

The main differences

The goal of both domestic and industrial wastewater plants is the same. They treat the wastewater so that it is clean enough to be released into the environment. With domestic wastewater, consumers don’t need to worry about how everything works. They simply flush the toilet and pour wastewater down the drain without even thinking about it. The sewage system throughout the UK takes care of domestic waste. That is of course, unless a property cannot be connected to the main supply.

If you live in a home which cannot be connected to the main sewage system, you may be required to have a private domestic wastewater plant fitted. This will work in much the same way as an industrial wastewater plant, though it won’t need the same type of treatment.

The thing is, industrial plants often have to deal with high levels of potentially dangerous chemicals. This means that the treatment plant needs to be highly efficient and contain adequate treatments to thoroughly clean the water.

The different stages of wastewater treatment

The one thing in common that both industrial and domestic wastewater treatment plants have is the way in which they operate. There are three main stages of wastewater treatment. These include:

·         Primary

·         Secondary

·         Tertiary

The primary stage is where the wastewater is left to separate into solids and liquids. The solids move to the bottom, while grease and other liquids move to the top. Anything floating, along with the solid waste is then removed before the liquid waste moves on to stage two.

Secondary treatment involves suspending and dissolving biological matter. Micro-organisms are typically used for this purpose in a controlled habitat. This stage also sometimes requires a separation process so that the micro-organisms are removed before the final stage treatment.

Tertiary treatment isn’t always required, but it basically involves disinfecting the wastewater before it is released into a stream, lagoon or river. Once treated, it could even be used on agricultural land or as groundwater recharge.

Now with industrial wastewater plants, they also sometimes have additional jobs other than these three stages. This includes treating toxic materials or treating alkalis and acids. With the latter, they will need to be neutralised in a controlled environment. It is also worth noting that any toxic materials will be resistant to biological treatments if they haven’t yet been diluted.

Overall industrial wastewater plants do work a lot differently to domestic plants. Waste water treatment varies significantly depending upon the type of waste being developed. Industrial wastewater treatment is highly regulated and companies can get into a lot of trouble if they don’t follow necessary regulations.