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Ewalt's Conventional Treatment

Activated sludge – sludge particles produced in wastewater by the growth of organisms in aeration tanks. The term ‘activated’ comes from the fact that the particles teem with bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Activated sludge is different from primary sludge in that the sludge particles contain many living organisms that can feed on the incoming wastewater.


A basic activated sludge process consists of several interrelated components:

  • An aeration tank where the biological reactions occur
  • An aeration source that provides oxygen and mixing
  • A tank, known as the clarifier, where the solids settle and are separated from treated wastewater
  • A means of collecting the solids either to return them to the aeration tank, (return activated sludge [RAS]), or to remove them from the process (waste activated sludge [WAS]). Aerobic bacteria thrive as they travel through the aeration tank. They multiply rapidly with sufficient food and oxygen. By the time the waste reaches the end of the tank (between four to eight hours), the bacteria has used most of the organic matter to produce new cells. The organisms settle to the bottom of the clarifier tank, separating from the clearer water. This sludge is pumped back to the aeration tank where it is mixed with the incoming wastewater or removed from the system as excess, a process called wasting. The relatively clear liquid above the sludge, the supernatant, is sent on for further treatment as required


  • Easy to operate
  • Easy to install
  • Odor free Small footprint
  • Low sludge yield
  • Moderate energy requirements
  • Unaffected by weather
  • Provides high quality effluent in terms of TSS, BOD, and ammonia
  • Low sludge yields Capable of handling shock
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