More Than You Wanted To Know About Activated Sludge

More Than You Wanted to Know About Activated Sludge

  • January 5, 2016

Sludge sounds unattractive, and indeed usually is. Defined as, “a muddy or slushy mass, deposit, or sediment,” it’s the kind of thick, viscous goo you’ll find at the bottom of a pond. The thought of activating it conjurors up images of some science-fiction blob slithering through your town or city.

That’s actually not too far from reality. While it’s probably not in your neighborhood, activated sludge may well be just outside your city limits. The good news is that it’s far from harmful. In fact it’s positively beneficial as it forms an essential component of many large-scale wastewater treatment systems.

Why the Wastewater Industry Needs Rebuilding

  • June 4, 2015

When residents of a New York City neighborhood saw a tree disappearing down a hole in the summer of 2012, it was obvious something was amiss. Called to investigate, the Department of Environmental Protection determined the cause to be a collapsed 110 year-old sewer line buried 70 feet below the surface of the street.

Amusing as it may sound, such incidents are not uncommon. Most of our water and wastewater systems were built more than 50 years ago and they are aging. The American Society of Civil Engineers says $4.8 trillion in capital investment is needed over the next 20 years for repairs, and while the EPA estimates a more conservative $600bn and 20 years, there should be no doubt that this is a huge problem.

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