Wastewater has the potential to inflict hygiene-related illnesses like typhoid, dysentery, and bilharzia, to name but a few! Add this to the foul stench that the effluence emits and all you have is an uncomfortable environment to stay in. It is for these reasons that the wastewater treatment plant comes in handy.

In our discussions below, we endeavor to shed more light on these firms with the aim of letting you know more about them. As part and parcel of our peek into them, we shall also provide answers to some of the questions that are persistently asked about the subject.


For a start, a wastewater treatment plant is a facility that treats wastewater from households and industries to eliminate pollutants. This, it does through a combination of physical, chemical, and biological processes. In doing all these, the plants tackle the foul stench while also conserve the environment.

The outcomes of the purification process may be used to irrigate farms, combat the runoff water, and also be used for drinking and other domestic purposes. These plants also employ people in various capacities and thus serve to place food and livelihoods in the hands of many people.

Also Read : Renown Wastewater Treatment Services


A typical wastewater treatment plant design comprises the following constituent parts or components:

Screening and pumping

This is the first stage of the water purification exercise. It entails the passage of the water via a screening piece of equipment during which large objects like grease, plastics, wood fragments, and rags are sieved out. These materials are subsequently disposed of in the landfill.

Grit removal

The next stage entails the elimination of grit. These are kinds of dirt that are largely heavy-duty yet fine. They include the gravel and the sand. Like the larger materials above, these too are eventually disposed of in the landfills. Their elimination paves the way for smoother and cleaner water outcomes.

Primary settling

At the primary setting stage, the water is allowed to stand still and the debris to settle. This settled material is pumped out of the tank while the rest of the wastewater is left at the top. Any floating debris at the top of the wastewater is channeled to the digesters.

Aeration/activated sludge

This is the stage in which the wastewater receives most of its treatment. A process called biological degradation is employed to transform the wastes into cell tissues, Nitrogen, and water. It is also noteworthy that this stage takes the longest duration of time.

Secondary settling

At this stage, large circular tanks called the secondary clarifiers are used to separate the treated wastewater from the aeration tank. The end result of this is great effluent that is 90% pure. This sludge is pumped out from the bottom of the clarifiers to the aeration tanks.


The clarified effluence from the above state is polished by the process of filtration via a network of 10-micron polyester media. From time to time, the material that is captured on the surface of the disc filters is back-washed and taken back to the head of the plant for further treatment.


To make the outcomes even purer, the same has to be disinfected completely. This stage basically entails the extermination of the bacteria typically via the use of ultraviolet radiation. Throughout, the levels of bacteria are constantly monitored to ensure that they are within a safe threshold.

Oxygen uptake

This is the last stage. At this stage, the treated water has now assumed a very high quality and stabilized state. Further, the state is exceptionally aerated to exude the dissolved oxygen to the permissible levels. The treated water passes through the effluent outfall from whence it joins the river or municipal drainage.


The link below directs you to a relevant wastewater treatment plant diagram:



A typical wastewater treatment plant operator performs the chore of operating the machinery and the plant that handles the wastewater. He may also inspect the plant to anticipate any emergent issues and make appropriate arrangements for their solutions.

This chore is ordinarily overwhelming and requires great skill and expertise. Only those who have studied for too long and have garnered the necessary expertise may be able to tackle it to the end. The pay is not really bad. Many of them have been noted to make a 6-digit yearly salary.

To quality, you need to have pursued plant engineering from a reputable college or trade school. Follow this with some working experience and appropriate certifications.


A wastewater treatment plant engineer on the other hand plays the role of inspecting, repairing, and maintaining the treatment plants. He works alongside the plant operators to maintain the systems in their proper working and operational conditions. As expected this position requires a fairly great deal of expertise.

Only those who have struggled and read highly may undertake it. The amount of money thee people earn is also higher. That is because of the wonderful and technical task that they play insofar as the maintenance of the systems in their proper working conditions are concerned.

Most areas and jurisdictions demand that you register your credentials with the relevant authority before being given the leeway to practice the trade. The requirements vary considerably from one area to another one. You have to countercheck to see to it that you meet the requirements of your area well.


We now answer some FAQs on the wastewater treatment plant:

Q1. How long does wastewater treatment take?

A. Roughly 24 hours but then again it all depends on the volume of the water and the overall pace of the discharge of the wastewater. You have to make appropriate arrangements to handle the treatment in line with the volumes or the quantities you may be tackling.

Q2. What is wastewater treated with?

A. A number of chemicals may be used to treat the wastewater. Examples of these are Chlorine, ultraviolet radiation, ozone, and hydrogen peroxide. You have to take keen attention to see to it that you employ the most effective tool for the job as nearly as possible.

Q3. What is the process of wastewater treatment plant?

A. It is the sum total process of converting the wastewater that would otherwise be useless to one that is fresh and potable. These processes are carried out to preserve the environment while also making great use of the resultant water for common household purposes.

Q4. Is it bad to live near a wastewater treatment plant?

A. To some extent, YES! These plants generate toxic emissions and liquid effluents. These may be hazardous to the health of humans not to mention causing respiratory tract infections. You are thus advised to stay as far away from them as possible.

Q5. Why is wastewater a problem?

A. Wastewater has the ability to bring about many issues. These include environmental problems, untold discomforts, foul stench, and a host of health problems. It is because of these that you are asked to tackle them as effectively as you probably can.

Q6. What are the 5 stages of wastewater treatment?

A. Below are the main stages of wastewater treatment:

  • Screening and pumping
  • Grit removal
  • Primary settling
  • Aeration/activated sludge
  • Secondary settling
  • Oxygen uptake
  • Sludge treatment

Q7. What are the types of wastewater treatment?

A. Below are the main kinds of wastewater treatment:

  • Septic tanks
  • Aerated wastewater treatment systems (AWTS)
  • Biological filter systems
  • Composting toilets (dry and wet)

Q8. What are some examples of wastewater?

A. Common examples of wastewater include chemicals, soap, oils, food scraps, and human wastes. They are all dissolved in the water for the sake of expedited disposal thereof. These wastes are typically derived from households, industries, and other large complexes.

Q9. What is done with wastewater?

A. A number of things may be done to or with the wastewater. These could be discharging back to the environment, irrigating crops, watering animals, lawn care and maintenance, and even drinking, under extreme circumstances. The precise use depends on the purity of the water thereof.

Q10. What are the common pollutants present in wastewater?

A. Wastewater contains the following major pollutants:

  • Complex organic materials
  • Nitrogen- and phosphorus-rich compounds
  • Pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, and protozoa)
  • Synthetic organic chemicals
  • Inorganic chemicals
  • Microplastics
  • Sediments
  • Radioactive substances
  • Oil
  • Heat


Alright! We do bring an end tour long and tedious peek into the subject matter of the wastewater treatment plant to an end there. It is now our hope and pleasure that you are well-versed with the matter and are now better placed to make more informed decisions as pertains to it.

Perhaps just to pick up a few of the greatest points from the article, you should never stay close to the plants as there are many dangers that potentially come by. It is also in your best interest to dispose of the wastewater as early as possible to prevent the same from worsening your environment.

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