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Sludge from WWTP

Public awareness regarding environmental protection has risen over the decades. This has led to the implementation of stringent regulation regarding the qualitative characteristics of the treated wastewater.

The production of excess biological sludge from municipal and industrial Wastewater Treatment Plants has increased over the past few years. Of the constituents removed by effluent treatment, sludge is by far the largest in volume, therefore its handling methods and disposal techniques are a matter of great concern.

Sewage sludge is regarded as the residue produced by the wastewater treatment process, during which liquids and solids are being separated. Liquids are being discharged to aqueous environment while solids are removed for further treatment and final disposal.

 

The sludge stemming from the wastewater treatment process is usually liquid or semisolid liquid; the concentration of solids is 12% by weight. In Europe, production of sewage sludge resulting from primary, secondary and even tertiary treatment is on average 90 g per person per day. Annual production has risen by 20% and is expected to rise by 15% by 2020.

The main sludge disposal methods are:

1. Agricultural use
2. Co-composting
3. Anaerobic digestion
4. Incineration
5. Landfilling
6. Other methods (Wet Air Oxidation, pyrolysis, gasification)

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