1. Preliminary Treatment: This is the first stage of the sewage treatment plant process and its main objective is the removal of coarse solids and other large materials often found in raw wastewater. Preliminary treatment operations typically include large filtering screens, grit removal, and, in some cases, the breaking of large objects. Excess grit causes severe pump blockages thereby affecting a range of subsequent treatment pumps.
2. Primary Treatment: The main purpose of this treatment is to reduce any heavy solids (organic & inorganic) that settle to the bottom by sedimentation while oil, grease & lighter solids float to the surface by skimming. The settled and floating materials are removed and the remaining liquid may be discharged or subjected to the next stage i.e. secondary treatment. Primary treatment removes about 60% of suspended solids from wastewater.
3. Secondary Treatment: The prime objective is the further treatment of the effluent from primary treatment to remove dissolved and suspended biological matter. The biological solids removed during secondary sedimentation, called secondary or biological sludge, are normally combined with primary sludge for sludge processing. Secondary treatment may require a separation process to remove the micro-organisms from the treated water prior to discharge or tertiary treatment. Secondary treatment removes more than 90% of suspended solids.
4. Tertiary/Advanced Treatment: Tertiary treatment generally follows secondary treatment and aids the removal of those wastewater constituents which cannot be removed in secondary treatment. Treated wastewater is sometimes disinfected chemically or physically (for example, by lagoons and microfiltration) prior to its discharge into the receiving environment (sea, river, lake, wetlands, ground, etc.)
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