Oxygen is essential to the aeration process in wastewater treatment. Wastewater treatment facilities aerate water with oxygen to encourage the biodegradation of bacteria. These organisms will use oxygen to break down all organic matter containing carbon, which creates carbon dioxide.
The biodegradation process is much slower without the presence of oxygen, and it will only fully occur under specific septic conditions. Effective and efficient wastewater treatment is impossible without this gas. Given the high volume of wastewater generated by communities and facilities, efficiency is necessary.
Additionally, septic biodegradation creates an intense odor that can be unpleasant for surrounding residents. Oxygen aeration is odorless and easily adjustable. As environmental factors change, treatment facilities can modify the amount of oxygen used to keep the bacteria alive and regenerating for water treatment.
The air we breathe is approximately 21% oxygen. By using oxygen for aeration instead of air, the capacity of a treatment plant can be expanded substantially without changing the plant’s overall footprint.