Waste water first enters the pretreatment chamber. This raw water is called the "influent" since it is untreated. Once in the pretreatments chamber of the tretment unit, easily submergible solids, and slowly degradable solids begin to settle out. This chamber reduces the amount of solids going into the aeration chamber including: oils, greases, and certain paper products. The pretreatment chamber also improves the effectiveness of the aeration chamber in several ways. The chamber first prevents solid materials from clogging up the system. Secondly, the chamber provides dilution to minimize chemical shock of disinfectants and bleaches in the aeration chamber. Finally, the microAIR® system begins the aerobic process with oxygen introduced through the diffuser bars.
Water that leaves the pretreatment chamber ends up in the aeration chamber. The aeration chamber is the largest compartment and the heart of the treatment unit. This aeration chamber treats the water by an activated sludge/aerobic process. In an aeration process, air is forced into the chamber byan aerator and forms bubbles. These bubbles gently agitate the wastewater mixing oxygen with aerobic bacteria and sludge from the clarifier. This mixture is regered to as a liquor. The oxygen then becomes dissolved in the water feeding the naturally occurring microorganisms to digest solids in the wastewater. The microAIR® system producess small bubbles, which greatly increases the amount of dissolved oxygen available for aerobic digestion.
Eventually, treated water from the aeration chamber ends up in the clarifier, or settling chamber. The clarifier is a smaller chamber where no agitation takes place. Particles from the mixed liquor, which have not been digested, floc together and settle out to the bottom of the clarifier. These solids form a sludge that flows back into the aeration chamber. This sludge acts as seed in the aeration chamber for the activated sludge process. Once all particles have been removed, the clear, treated water leaves the clarifier and is discharged as effluent.