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Water & Wastewater Treatment Knowledge

Flow Process and Knowledge

For every industry a specific flow process should be regimented in order to receive optimal results. Although every process will have a slight variation the intended goal is to provide basic guidelines on process flow.  If further information is sought please contact us via our contact page.


Mining Industry

Improving product recovery, minimizing operational cost

Mine water is essential to plant operations either for separation of the metal value or to transport slurries to the tailing impoundment.  There are also solvent extraction unit processes that with proper pretreatment, efficiencies can be realized at the electro-winning or product recovery, like the organic used in the striping process.  As in the case of solvent extraction electro-winning (SXEW) process, efficient crud removal and recovery of the organic that can be potentially recovered into the solvent extraction process to minimize plant operational cost.


Treatment Drivers

Protection of human health & environmental (regulated – clean water act)

  • Heavy metals removal (arsenic, lead, copper, etc.).
  • Recovery and reuse of mine water
  • Suspended solids removal
  • Useful and potentially saleable products (copper, REO, etc.)
  • Sustainability of mining (support mine operation)
Municipal Water and Wastewater

Meeting Stringent Discharge Limits/Reducing Plant Operational Cost

Meeting water/wastewater effluent standards is critical for municipalities. Treatment plants are faced with the challenges of a growing population/demographic shifts, changing regulations, failing infrastructure, or outdated treatment technology.  Sciential’s test kit and testing services aid consults, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and end-users answers to their municipal wastewater treatment challenges. Sciential’s test kits provide easy to use and reliable performance to help determine the flowsheet, capital expenditure (CapEx), operational expenditure (OpEx) and process performance values to meet strict discharge limits in the water reuse, wastewater treatment, and tertiary water treatment for every state, county, city, town or locale.


Treatment Drivers


Naturally Occurring Organics (NOM), Disinfection by-products, TTHM – 80 mg/L, HAA5 – 60 mg/L


Arsenic – MCL 0.010 mg/L

Nitrate – MCL 10 mg/L N

Uranium – MCL 30 mg/L

Chrome – MCL 10 mg/L (VI)

Perchlorate – MCL 6 mg/L

Color – 15 CU (SMCL)

Iron – 0.3 mg/L (SMCL)

Manganese – 0.05 mg/L (SMCL)

Uranium – 30 ug/L








Heavy Metals

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP)






Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL)


Treatment Examples

Surface Water Pretreatment

The surface water pretreatment prepares water for use in any type of treatment plant and is needed when the source of water comes from a raw/ contaminated source (usually river water) where the total suspended solids (TSS) should range from 50 mg/L – 200 mg/L.  Treatment consists of four steps: chemical pretreatment, clarification, filtration, and sludge treatment


Chemical Pretreatment

Sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is added to kill any living organisms that may be in the raw water. Coagulant helps particles come together to improve clarity and settling. Polymer turns individual particles into larger clusters. The larger particles settle faster and form a more concentrated sludge.



After the chemical pretreatment, the water flows into the solids contact clarifier.  The solids contact clarifier  is used when there are not enough solids in the feed water source to flocculate on their own or as solids seeding to facilitate fine particle sweeping (clarifying) and/or for improved setting characteristics.  Settled solids from the bottom of the clarifier are mixed with the incoming feed water. The particles intimately interact and form larger particles for faster settling characteristics.  The clarified water (effluent) reports to an effluent trough and settled the solids (sludge) are scraped to the center clarifier and removed for further dewatering. If conditioned properly, the overflow (effluent) can produce less than 10 mg/L of total suspended solids.



If necessary, the overflow can be treated by filtration. The water starts by going into an equalization tank that allows for a constant flow into the single or multi-media filter.  As the water flows from the equalization tank to the media filter, polymer may be added to improve filtration performance. The resulting water TSS is now less than 1mg/L. It may be directly sent to a cooling tower or it can be further filtered depending on the intended use.


Sludge Treatment

The underflow solids from the clarifier (i.e., conventional, solids contact, inclined plate) is pumped into a thickener.  Flocculant is added to improve the solids settling rate (flux) and effluent clarity. The thickened underflow is sent to a pressure filter (plate and frame) or belt press or vacuum dewatering filter.

Thickened solids are pumped to a pressure filter at a 100 psi into a chamber held together by two plates.  Once the filtrate rate reaches a terminal flow rate (usually 10% of the initial flowrate), the pressure is released and the formed cake solids are dropped and the filter closed and operation commences.

The belt press is usually flocculated and placed either in a rotary drum concentrator or gravity drain deck.  The thickened solids are then placed between two belts (upper and lower) and squeezes allowing the water to further pressed out through a series of pressure rolls.

If total suspended solids are <50 mg/L than water should go straight to a filter. If >200 mg/L, should go to a standard clarifier.  Cold lime softening might be considered for water hardness above 150 mg/L as CaCO3.

    Oil & Gas

    Improving Quality/Reducing Cost

    Both water and wastewater have become increasingly important as technology improves in the oil and gas industry.
    Did you realize that one barrel of either oil or gas necessitates an average of 4 barrels of water used in exploration and recovery?

    We provide innovative consulting services and portable water and wastewater treatment solutions and test equipment for the oil and gas industry.

    As an international and global water and wastewater treatment firm, we are dedicated to giving our oil and gas customers the latest in tools, equipment and technology for proper treatment solutions in the oil refinery, petrochemical, and other oil and gas related industries.
    Removing pollutants, hydrocarbons and more is just a few of the aspects concerned in dealing with fracking fluid, the drilling of mud, and wash water.
    Because of the vast amount of water used, and the amount of wastewater generated, having an in-depth and technology wise system to deal with various areas of wastewater treatment and water treatment becomes invariably important in the ‘best use’ practices as part of any company’s repertoire

      Food & Beverage

      Improving Product Quality/Reducing Plant Operational Cost

      Whether is it Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) surcharges or paying high waste hauling costs, Sciential looks for ways to accomplish both water recovery and waste minimization.  Sciential has the expertise to simulate multiple unit processes at the bench-scale level, minimizing costly upfront pilot testing.  Whether it is reducing BOD or simply concentrating high liquid streams for waste disposal such that the water can be reused while concentrating the solids for disposal.


      Treatment Drivers

      • Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
      • Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
      • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
      • Fats, Oils, Greases (FOG)
      • Potential Water Reuse
      • Potential Heavy Metals
      • Detergents, cleaners, etc.
      • Nutrient Removal


      Food Processing Wastewater

      Large amount of wastewater is generated in food production.  Effluent characteristics and constituents vary widely and require different processing technologies to achieve the required discharge limits. Discharge limits vary further by state and local regulations.


      Fats, Oils, Greases (FOG)

      Some plants produce high amounts of fats, oil and grease (FOG). A dissolved air flotation (DAF) unit is an effective means of reducing the FOG and solids levels. DAFs are especially effective for food solids since most food particles float. Floating FOG and solids are skimmed from the DAF unit and recovered for disposal or sale. Skimmed solids do not require thickening.

      Total suspended solids (TSS), FOG, and biological oxygen demand (BOD) are all significantly reduced by screening and DAF treatment. Nevertheless, there may still be levels of these contaminants which will require further treatment prior to discharge. Contaminant type and level determine treatment options.  Waste stream volume, reuse possibilities, and available space will also influence the choice of treatment designs.

      Almost all food processing facilities will require biological treatment for BOD removal. If the stream is small or BOD is low, the plant may elect to send the screened waste to a municipal treatment plant. Some wastewater will contain very high BOD (dairy, cheese, etc.) and anaerobic as well as aerobic systems will be necessary.

        Polymers In Water Treatment

        General Polymer Knowledge and Various Types The word polymer is derived the greek word poly, which in turn means many, where as mer means parts.  They are large molecular structures that are composed of many repeated sub molecules. Today they are found in many industries and have a wide variety of applications, included water treatment. The...

        Dissolved Air Flotation Insight

        Many practices dealing with medium or large scale water treatment operations, require separation and removal of solids and or liquids. One solution commonly used to separate liquids and or solids from a medium is dissolved air flotation, also known as DAF. The driving force behind DAF is the micron sized air bubbles produced from a specialized...