POLYMERS CAN LOWER WATER TURBIDITY, BOOST CAPACITY OF TREATMENT PLANTS, SAYS STUDY

MUSCAT: A study funded by The Research Council (TRC) has shown that use of polymers (polyelectrolyte) help in speeding settling of suspended solids and getting low-turbidity water.

The findings of this study could help in water reuse processes especially in countries like Oman, which face scarcity of this resource.

Dr Salam Kadhim al Dawery from Nizwa University’s College of Engineering and Architecture was the principal investigator of the study, ‘The impact of sludge rheology on design and operation of wastewater treatment plant’.

Dr Dawery said that increasing volumes of wastewater and stricter regulations cause a continuous increase in sludge generated from treatment plants. This makes it vital to look for methods that improve the performance of treatment plants.

The results of this study provided vital information on ways to improve wastewater treatment processes starting from the sludge production and conditioning to disposal.

Dr Dawery said that the study began with collecting sludge samples from Nizwa and Samail wastewater treatment plants. Results showed that current treatment and operational processes at both plants are as per standards.

However, all samples collected showed high organic content and unhealthy biomass that caused a very high sludge volume index (SVI) and slow settling. The use of polyelectrolytes led to a significant reduction in the sediment thickness and a faster settling rate.

The study says that performance of these plants can be improved by using polymeric materials. Also, it was found that hydrocarbons can sometimes reach 80 per cent, which can prevent their deposition and also affect the bacterial growth necessary for consumption of these organic materials.

It also reduces the performance of the water treatment plants. The research team also included Eng Hanan Ahmed al Riyami and Eng Samiya Ahmed al Riyami.

SOURCE: MUSCAT DAILY