In wastewater treatment plants, a variety of processes are employed to eliminate organic pollutants from water to ensure its safety and release for future uses. One of the most common processes is the activated sludge method, which biologically treats the wastewater through the use of large aeration basins.
This process requires the pumping of compressed air into the aeration basins where a diffuser system ensures the air is distributed evenly for optimum treatment. Typical Wastewater Treatment Plant Tiny micro-organisms in the aeration basins decompose biologically degradable organics in the wastewater. These micro-organisms require air to survive and depend on the aeration system to provide the right amount of air necessary for them to thrive and consume the organics in the wastewater.
Eventually, they flocculate into a mass with the non-biodegradable solids that settle to the bottom of the basin. Large amounts of compressed air are required to ensure this process operates effectively to treat the water adequately before it can be moved along to clarifying basins, filtering, disinfection and other treatment processes. Controlling the proper amount of air that is released into the aeration basins is essential because the air flow controls the growth of micro-organisms that treat the wastewater.
Flow meters are typically installed in the aeration system piping to measure the amount of air flow and the meters’ analog or digital outputs run to the control system. In wastewater facilities, as well as industrial plants, air compressor operation is one of the largest energy expenses. The cost of energy to produce compressed air continues to rise along with fuel costs. So, optimizing the aeration process by measuring and controlling the aeration system’s air flow with a suitable flow meter also reduces energy costs.
There are five important factors to consider:
- Flow Sensor Technology
- Range and Accuracy
- Operating Environment
- Ease of Installation
- Maintenance and Life
FCI flow meters to consider in your aeration application: