Settling vs. Filtration

December 6, 2018
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When it comes to slurry and wastewater, there is no one size fits all treatment plan. The composition of slurry differs from industry to industry, whether it’s petroleum, stone fabrication, concrete, glass and tile, or something more unique like the food or brewing industry. Slurry should be treated on a case by case basis to determine whether a settling or filtration process (or both) should be utilized.

Filter presses separate liquids and solids by forcing the liquid elements of slurry—insoluble substances mixed with water or oil—through a porous filter cloth. In a filter press, the separation occurs in chambers formed between the recessed faces of plates which are clamped together in a steel frame. The liquid flows through the press and the insoluble substances are pressed into what we call “cakes.”

Rapid settlement systems focus on removing total suspended solids from wastewater, removing 95% of solids from industrial water with very little time and effort. They utilize inclined plate clarifier technology, and can be combined with several other effective components, like automated purges and pumps, and storage tanks. Think of a rapid settlement system as the process that removes the solids, and a filter press as the system that handles the slurry. With some customizations, they can both be used in the same system to meet your unique application needs. Coupling a rapid settlement system with a filter press can greatly increase the flow and decrease the solid loads on the press, making for an overall more efficient process.

The need for either systems—or both—is dependent upon several factors:

  • Gallons processed per day and per minute
  • Percentage of solids
  • Solid reduction needed for application
  • Nature of solids
    • Size of particles in microns
    • Composition of solids
  • State regulations and requirements for discharge
    • Should solids be dewatered completely?

If solids cannot be filtered effectively, a rapid settlement system may be necessary. If solids and slurry blind elements of the filter press, protocol or treatment needs to be put in place to prevent blinding of filter elements or cloths.

Consider Full Circle Water your unique wastewater partner. No matter your industry or wastewater needs, we’re here to help. To discuss whether a filter press or rapid settlement system is right for you, give us a call today at: 320-529-4035.