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Aero-Tech Extended Aeration Equipment & Operation

The extended aeration activated sludge process is the biological process by which non-settleable substances occurring in dissolved and colloidal forms are converted into settleable sludge which is removed from the liquid carrier (water).  In the AERO-TECH, the activated sludge is settled out along with the suspended solids present in the wastewater. The activated sludge process provides one of the highest degrees of treatment obtainable within the limits of practical economy and present knowledge of the art and science of waste treatment.

The process depends upon groups of microorganisms, mainly bacteria, along with protozoan, fungi and rotifers, being maintained in contact with the organic matter in the waste in an aerobic (oxygen containing) environment. Many forms of organic matter carried in the wastewater serve as a food supply for these microorganisms. The mass of microorganisms present in the system is referred to as biological solids or mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS).

In practice, MLSS represents all suspended matter in the activated sludge system including inert matter, non-biological organic matter, as well as active microorganisms. The basic reactions involve the breakdown of the organic matter (represented by 5 day Biochemical Oxygen Demand - BOD5) and the formation of cell mass (activated sludge) and by-products (carbon dioxide and water).

The basic purpose of the activated sludge system is to establish and maintain a viable population of microorganisms by supplying food (BOD5) and the proper environment. In the proper environment the microorganisms convert the soluble and colloidal material present in the wastewater into new cells (activated sludge) and end products (CO2 and water). During their life cycle, the microorganisms undergo a continuously changing cycle of growth and decline.

In actual operation the activated sludge process is run as a continuous process.  Within our system, the incoming wastewater is intimately mixed with the active biological mass and provided with the necessary dissolved oxygen by the action of the air bubbles released from the aeration pump. This pump is located at the bottom center and causes a spiralling flow pattern to develop which rolls the chamber contents from the influent to effluent end.  In the chamber, the suspended solids (MLSS) and liquid are separated by gravity. The separated solids are returned to the aeration compartment as return sludge while the clear water in the upper clarifying chamber is then discharged through the surge resistant disposal system of your choice: underground, waterway, or irrigation.