Hydraulic Engineering: Wastewater and Stormwater Treatment Systems

27 June 2017

In an ideal wastewater and stormwater drainage system, a hydraulic load is carried away without issue. In the real world, however, the wastewater contains a pollutant load. As defined in the DCP(2012) guidelines, there are development control plans that manage liquid wastes. They document what it takes to regulate the contaminant loads. Just what kind of wastewater treatment solution will the engineers build in response to this threat?

Why is Wastewater a Threat?

Sediments are carried forth when stormwater cuts a swathe through the land. Suspended in the dirty water, grimy deposits are carried through drainage systems and dumped into a river. All of that torrential water already has the power to change the shape of the meandering waterway, so imagine how much worse this scenario becomes when there’s more course-changing material in the wastewater. Left to its own devices, that deposited dirt will completely change the depth and shape of the waterway. Then, as if the sediments problem wasn’t bad enough, there are other contaminants conveyed in the water. That deluge has been busy. It’s coursed through oily roadways, leapt over fences where fertilisers were providing crops with nutrition, and generally liberated all kinds of contaminants. Fortunately, a wastewater and stormwater treatment station will remove any and all flood-carried foreign matter.

Constructing a Wastewater Treatment System

Urbanized streams carry oils and caustic chemicals. Meanwhile, the land-scouring stream is blending into the mix, with its sediment discharge and fertilised compounds adding to the watery woes. A wastewater treatment station filters the dirty clay and washed away topsoil. The pure liquid is then flushed from the dirt traps, but it’s still loaded with chemicals. What’s next on the water scrubbing agenda? Next, the stormwater is chemically scrubbed and neutralised. All of the greases and oils are then ejected as a harmless secondary stream, or they’re recycled into a containment vessel for further processing. In inserting this screening station into the waterway infrastructure, no nasty trash or washed away foliage can enter the ecosystem, nor can sediments or nasty chemical byproducts.

Stormwater contains pollutants. Acid rains and evaporated chemicals exceed set water quality standards, ones that exist to protect the environment and people. Fortunately, the treatment system accounts for rainwater contaminants, ground-based sediments, and urbanised pollutants, thus freeing a clean flush stream from the dirt traps and chemical processing lines. Furthermore, those man-made treatment systems are subsidised by adding naturally interred catchment sites to the system, sites that act as a biological cleaning mechanism.

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