- Adding a coagulant: Before entering the flocculator, the water or effluent goes through a coagulant addition step, usually a polymer or a metal, which helps to bind the suspended particles.
- Agitation: The water or effluent is then mechanically agitated in the flocculator, usually by means of propellers or stirring blades. This causes suspended particles to clump together to form flakes.
- Settling: The flocs formed are denser and fall faster than individual suspended particles, causing them to settle to the bottom of the flocculator.
- Decantation: The water or clarified effluent is then drained from the top of the flocculator, while sedimented flocs are regularly removed by means of decantation.
- Further Treatment: The clarified water or effluent is then passed through other treatment processes, such as filtration and disinfection, to remove other contaminants and ensure it meets water quality standards.
Benefits of flocculators in water and wastewater treatment include:
- Efficient removal of suspended particles: flocculation helps to bind suspended particles, making them easier to remove through sedimentation or filtration processes.
- Improved water quality: Removing suspended particles can significantly improve water quality, making it clearer and free of contaminants.
- Cost savings: The use of flocculators can help reduce water and effluent treatment costs, as they can be more efficient than other particle removal methods.
- Reduction of pollution load: Efficient removal of suspended particles can help reduce the pollution load of water bodies and effluents, which is beneficial to the environment.
- Improved efficiency of other treatment processes: flocculation can be used as a pre-step for other treatment processes, such as filtration and disinfection, increasing the overall efficiency of the system.
Flocculators are widely used in various water and wastewater treatment applications, including:
- Drinking water treatment: Flocculators are used to remove suspended particles and improve the appearance and quality of drinking water before it is released for human consumption.
- Reuse water treatment: Flocculators are used to remove suspended particles and improve the quality of reuse water before it is recirculated.
- Water treatment of rivers and lakes: Flocculators are used to remove suspended particles and improve the quality of water from rivers and lakes before it is used as a source of drinking water or for other uses.
- Industrial effluent treatment: Flocculators are used to remove suspended particles and improve the quality of industrial effluents before they are discharged into bodies of water.
- Treatment of sewage effluent: Flocculators are used to remove suspended particles and improve the quality of sewage effluent before it is further treated or discharged into bodies of water.