Sludge Storage

Wastewater treatment facilities route excess quantities of activated sludge and sediments from primary, intermediate, and final clarifiers through some or all of the steps outlined in Figure 7.21.13. Plants can have facilities for disposal only; dewatering and disposal; digestion, dewa-tering, and disposal; or thickening, digestion, dewatering, and disposal. Wet sludge quantities, depending on the waste and treatment processes, can constitute as much as 1.5% of influent flow.

Some form of short-term storage before the digestion step is essential to prevent overloading, regulate sludge flow to the digesters, and allow collection and mixing of the sludge. Some plants mix some final effluent with the sludge (in the mixing tank) to improve its thickening characteristics. Storage tanks should be open so that gas does not buildup in the tank.

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