Sewage sludge

  • sewage sludge
  • A semi-liquid waste with a solid concentration in excess of 2500 parts per million, obtained from the purification of municipal sewage.
Abstract from DBPedia
    Sewage sludge is the residual, semi-solid material that is produced as a by-product during sewage treatment of industrial or municipal wastewater. The term "septage" also refers to sludge from simple wastewater treatment but is connected to simple on-site sanitation systems, such as septic tanks. When fresh sewage or wastewater enters a primary settling tank, approximately 50% of the suspended solid matter will settle out in an hour and a half. This collection of solids is known as raw sludge or primary solids and is said to be "fresh" before anaerobic processes become active. The sludge will become putrescent in a short time once anaerobic bacteria take over, and must be removed from the sedimentation tank before this happens. This is accomplished in one of two ways. Most commonly, the fresh sludge is continuously extracted from the bottom of a hopper-shaped tank by mechanical scrapers and passed to separate sludge-digestion tanks. In some treatment plants an Imhoff tank is used: sludge settles through a slot into the lower story or digestion chamber, where it is decomposed by anaerobic bacteria, resulting in liquefaction and reduced volume of the sludge. The secondary treatment process also generates a sludge largely composed of bacteria and protozoa with entrained fine solids, and this is removed by settlement in secondary settlement tanks. Both sludge streams are typically combined and are processed by anaerobic or aerobic treatment process at either elevated or ambient temperatures. After digesting for an extended period, the result is called "digested" sludge and may be disposed of by drying and then landfilling. "Biosolids" is a term often used in conjunction with reuse of sewage solids after sewage sludge treatment. Biosolids can be defined as organic wastewater solids that can be reused after stabilization processes such as anaerobic digestion and composting. Opponents of sewage sludge reuse reject this term as a public relations term.