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What is The Purpose of Tertiary Wastewater Treatment?

Tertiary wastewater treatment is the final stage in the multi-stage wastewater treatment process. To be specific, it is the third stage of wastewater treatment. So what is the purpose of tertiary wastewater treatment?


Primarily, the purpose is to remove organic compounds, bacteria, viruses and parasites. The water treated without these harmful substances because of the tertiary wastewater treatment step can then be reused, recycled, or released back into the environment.


This overview of the processes and methods involved in tertiary wastewater treatment will help you understand and answer the question what is the purpose of tertiary wastewater treatment.

Preparing for The Tertiary Wastewater Treatment

Before we get into the details about tertiary wastewater treatment methods, let's briefly review the primary wastewater treatment process.


The primary treatment process involves removing large solid contaminants from wastewater. The wastewater is then treated with a secondary treatment, which involves oxidation, biofiltration, and aeration. All of these processes help remove sediment from the wastewater.


In-Pipe Technology offers municipal wastewater treatment solutions that can assist in completing the three stages of wastewater treatment, including the tertiary wastewater treatment process. Through completing the three necessary steps in wastewater treatment, the environment is protected and so are the people in the community, all from the harmful effects that untreated wastewater has on the natural world without this three-stage wastewater treatment process.



Tertiary Wastewater Treatment Methods

The final step in the filtration process of treated wastewater is called tertiary wastewater treatment. Sometimes, alum is used to remove phosphorus from the water. Any solids or waste not removed by the primary or secondary wastewater treatment are also grouped by alum so that they can be removed with filters through the tertiary wastewater treatment process. The filters can be backwashed if necessary to remove floc buildup, which allows them to continue to operate effectively.

Disinfection in Tertiary Wastewater Treatment

Chlorine addition to wastewater before discharge is an important part of tertiary wastewater treatment process. This involves injecting chlorine into the headworks of a serpentine effluent storage chamber.


Chlorination of the tertiary wastewater treatment kills viruses, bacteria, and removes parasites like Giardia or Cryptosporidium that can cause serious illness. This process of the tertiary wastewater treatment process disinfects the water in such a way that makes it safe for reuse and recycling.



Dichlorination in Tertiary Wastewater Treatment

The final step in the tertiary wastewater treatment is to remove the chlorine used to disinfect water. Because chlorine is dangerous to aquatic life, this step is crucial. High levels of chlorine can also affect the biological quality of the environment.


A compound called sodium bisulfite can be added to water to remove chlorine. The chlorine ions in the water reacts with the chemical and are eliminated. The chlorine level in the water will have to be reduced to a safe point. Then the water can be released back into the environment.



Solutions for Tertiary Wastewater Treatment

Visit the In-Pipe Technology blog to learn more about the tertiary wastewater treatment process and more insights on sewage treatment. Check out our website or reach out to us directly: 630.509.2488 - Our team is happy to provide more information on tertiary wastewater treatment or anything else you'd like to know.

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