effluent treatment plant

Wastewater management and effluent treatment in Europe

Effluent is a liquid waste flowing out of a Factory, Farm, Commercial Establishment, or Residential Establishments into a water body such as River, Lake or reservoirs.

Effluent treatment is Generally Categorised into two types:

  1. Industrial wastewater treatment
  2. Sewage Treatment

Industrial waste water treatment covers the mechanisms and processes used to treat water that have been contaminated in some way by anthropogenic industrial or commercial activities prior to its release into environment or its re-use.

Source of industrial wastewater.

  • Iron and steel Industry.
  • Mines and quarries
  • Food Industry.
  • Complex Inorganic chemical industry.
  • Nuclear industry

Effluent Treatment includes physical, chemical and biological Processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants. Its objective is to produce an environmentally safe fluid waste stream and a solid waste suitable for dispose or re-use. It is not possible to re-use sewage effluent for drinking water, although Europe has some countries which have implemented such sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage.

Industrial waste water can be treated close to where it is created, a decentralised system  or collected and  transported via a network of pipes and pumps stations to the effluent treatment plant, a centralise system. Industrial Waste water collection and treatment is typically subjected to local, state and federal regulations and standards.

There are three types of process

  • Pre treatments
  • Secondary treatment
  • Tertiary treatment



Pre-treatment removes materials that can be easily collected from the raw waste water before they damage or clog the pumps and skimmers of primary treatment clarifiers. In some larger plant, fat and grease is removed by passing the sewage through a small tan where skimmers collect the fat floating on the surface. Air blowers in the base of tank may also be used to help recover the fat as froth. Many plants, use primary clarifiers with mechanical surface skimmers for fat and grease removal.

Primary treatment consists of temporarily holding the effluent in a quiescent basin where heavy solids can settle to the bottom while oil, grease and lighter solids float to the surface. The settled and floating material are removed and remaining liquid may be discharged to secondary treatment.

Secondary treatment removes dissolved and suspended biological matter. Secondary treatment is typically performed by indigenous, water-borne micro-organisms in a managed habitat.

Tertiary treatment is sometimes defined as anything more than primary and secondary treatment in order to allow rejection into a highly sensitive or fragile ecosystem. Treated water is sometime disinfected chemically or physically prior to discharge into a stream, river, bay or wetland or it can be used for ground water recharge.

One of such effluent treatment plant is at Austria, Europe, Which treats the effluent generated by the surrounding industries.

wwtp austri


Following are the figures which depicts the wastewater management in Europe.

Due to awareness in the industries 74.1 % of the waste water is collected and treated based on strict Regulations, 21.2 % are given the secondary treatment, 1.2 % primary treatment, 1.5 % is collected without any treatment, 0.7 % is not collected.

waste water collection statics europe


Every Step comprises of different treatment process which uses different chemicals. Below link consist of list of chemicals which are used in Effluent or Wastewater Treatment Process.


I hoped you enjoy reading this article. If you have any queries or requirements, do visit our website at www.chemtradeasia.com  or drop me a mail at rishabh_ramolia@chemtradeasia.com

By Rishabh Ramolia

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